The story on the back on one of these fantastic rarities (we are posting the whole set of numbers 1 through 12!) quoted from Time Magazine briefly says that Tomikazu Matsui, owner of the then largest printing company in Hiroshima prior to the Enola Gay bombing was riding to his office just as the bomb dropped and his building collapsed, burying Matsui along with it. He staggered a half a kilometer to his plant only to find ruins.
He did rebuild but his direction changed when he saw five small school children, dressed in rags and sitting amongst the rubble, drawing Japanese characters with charcoal on a small piece of slate. It hit Matsui and he decided to print something unlike Japan had seen before and Silver Bells was born.
We have listed each individual book, of the set of 12 sequentially numbered issues, separately to give everyone the opportunity to own a piece of history and some illustrations that were groundbreaking and often times reflect the cutting edge looks in Anime and Animation we see today. Text is in English.
The only true running story (or “Serial Cartoon” as the magazine notes) is “Lex the Lion Prince” by Taro Seo. This is a fantastic looking strip and reminds us of a lot of the current popular stuff coming out of Japan within the last decade. Most of the issues feature fold out prints of Japanese daily life and/or Japanese picture dictionary of common Japanese items and much more.
This is issue number 12 from Volume 2 (1953). 6 3/4″ x 9 1/2″.. Lots of interesting contents but we will mention a few artists for reference: Masao Kubo, Yoshisuke Kurosaki, Yooshio Hayashi. Utilize the pictures to get an overall idea of layout and the great stories and art included. Missing single center page. Otherwise, nice tight copy in overall very good condition for a few scribbles in pen and the first page separated from staples. Nice Santa / Christmas feature in the Lex the Lion Prince strip.