Heian Period Graffiti Looks Like a Manga Drawing

August 14, 2010

“Taima-dera” Temple in Nara has recently released images of graffiti that dates back to the Heian Era. Inside the temple, on a part of a small shrine called a zushi, often used as a cabinet for storing religious items, two male faces were found drawn in ink.

photo from sankei.jp

The similarity of this drawing to modern manga drawing, and the apparent use of some of the manga artists use. Scholars believe that the drawing is possibly the work of the artisan who made the zushi.

The drawing were originally found in 1958 but not released to the public until now.

Hearing that a simple discovery such as this has been left unreported for over 50 years makes one wonder how many other cultural and historical treasures are buried for some reason or another. One can imagine a warehouse like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark somewhere under Harajuku filled with artifacts holding the mysteries of Japanese history.

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