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Japan Studies: Newspapers in Japan: Kawaraban 瓦版

A brief history and information about newspapers published in Japan

In this guide...

English Newspapers 英字新聞 in Japan  a brief history

Kawaraban かわら版 Woodblock print newspaper during the Edo era

Nishiki-e Shinbun 錦絵新聞 Woodblock print newspaper during the Meiji period

Early Japanese Newspapers 邦字新聞 a brief history and images

Basic newspaper terms that you need to know before reading Japanese newspapers

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Kawaraban かわら版 瓦版

Before newspapers were born in Japan, how was the news traveled? "Kawaraban 瓦版" was a sheet of information paper filled with woodblock print illustrations and newsy information including gossips. It is said that the 『大阪阿部之合戦之図』 (Osaka abe no gassen no zu) 1615 (慶長20) was one of the oldest such information sheet existed. The Waseda University's site provides more information with many images of Kawaraban.

Kawaraban no hajimari かわら版の始まり University of Tokyo's the Birth of Newspapers in Japan ニュースの誕生

早稲田大学「瓦版について」 Waseda University Kawaraban

kawaraban sample 1 『大阪阿部之合戦之図』 (Osaka abe no gassen no zu) 1615 (慶長20)

Yokohama Kaiko Shiryokan 横浜開港資料館

kawaraban sample 2