Based on the famous speech by the Meiji era Japanese feminist leader Kishida Toshiko, this activity asks participants to create a manga version of her speech, working in teams.

I have spelled out a nine step process, but it might make sense to do a much quicker, rougher version of this, to leave time for other discussions. Steps 1, 4, 5 are essential, I think.

Step one is to read the original essay (for Japanese readers, in Japanese), and do a reader response writing activity.

Step two is to form teams with a mix of self-identified skills/capacities:

  • Drawing
  • Planning and facilitation
  • Creative writing
  • English grammar and syntax
  • Step three, is for the teams to find and share examples from their favorite manga, projecting them on the screen/board so that we can all see and pointing out the features that they like. The Joker should ask participants to synthesize and distill key points.

    Step four, teams read the text and circle the key elements that need to be in their manga in some way.

    Step five, rough draft. Get/give feedback from other groups.

    Step six - seven, successive drafts.

    Step eight final check, proofreading, copyright considerations.

    Step nine production, distribution to fellow classmates.


    Ask participants to compare this Maho Yoshida's Recruit Rhapsody -- what is the box in which the protagonist is stuck? How might she get out? What kind of box would you create for her, if you were Kishida Toshiko?

    Ask participants to compare this to Annie Leonard's Story of Solutions. What is the box in which we are all stuck, according to Leonard? What does she say about how to get out? How does that apply to us? How does it compare to Kishida Toshiko's argument?