I just happened to be near the Printing Museum in I’idabashi, Tokyo and stumbled upon a Swiss-Japanese display of “Beautiful Books”. Some were not so beautiful; some were amazing. At first I thought this tiny flip book was a large box of matches, because there are several match companies in Japan that still sell matches in boxes that have similar retro designs. I was pleasantly surprised to find this little gem of a book inside. Seigensha Books publishes God of Bug Eater むしくいさま (Mushi Kui Sama) and other cute flip books in their Para Para (means “to flip” in Japanese) series. You can see videos of several books, including their special Christmas edition, on their website.
A jewel scarab (kogane mushi in Japanese) eats away at the pages of the book, and an actual hole or tunnel looks like it is being in the book. As the scarab digs, a pile of earth is created by the scarab’s tunnel. The pile of earth, in turn, consumes the beetle at the end. The pile of earth is the god that eats bugs. The book’s mini narrative says that they will always be together and that as one they can make a beautifully coloured forest. (The book sells for 1296￥including tax in Japan.)
Didi you want to see more? Check out the video. The actual book starts around 0:24.