An 800-year-old scroll that some people regard as a precursor of modern-day manga cartoon art originally consisted of 10 sheets of washi paper with drawings on both sides, the Kyoto National Museum has discovered.
The layers of paper were later peeled apart from each other and reassembled in the scroll's present form, researchers believe.
The work is the third of the four volumes of Choju Jinbutsu Giga (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans), a set of ink-painting picture scrolls created from the late Heian period (794-1192) to early Kamakura period (1192-1333).
Because the set depicts anthropomorphic frogs and rabbits in amusing poses and scenes, it has been dubbed a prototype of manga.
The work, a designated national treasure, has been preserved at Kozanji temple in Kyoto.