The ICBA is a volunteer organization which provides Japanese language books and other materials like kamishibai for independent children’s library reading groups (called bunko) in various countries across the world. The UK branch has been running since the mid 1970’s and maintains many bunko groups in locations across the country.
I was originally scheduled to give a talk to the ICBA nearly two years ago but had to cancel at the last minute after falling ill, so this rescheduling had been planned for a long time. It was a greatly enjoyable and memorable event, not least because the fire alarm went off half way through my talk obliging everyone to temporarily evacuate the building. Fortunately it was a false alarm and I just carried on where I’d left off.
We talked about illustration, my books and my career in Japan and elsewhere, I hope everyone could follow my meandering Japanese, I was worried I’d be a little rusty! After the event attendees enjoyed delicious home-made snacks brought in by participants.
I’m very grateful to everyone who came to the event, special thanks to the organisers Yoko Morishima, Masami Atkinson and Ms Arai. Thanks also to Miwa Naughton for kindly allowing me to reproduce her photos.