It's interesting to see how popular Alice is in Japan, and how everyone knows her. Perhaps there is something about Alice and her world that strikes a special chord with Japanese people. It would take a social psychologist to figure out why, though, so I won't offer any opinions myself!

My good friend Yoshi in Tokyo has just sent me a very interesting book, which was issued by Takarazuka University on the theme of Illustrating "Through the Looking Glass."

It's a well produced book with full colour and metallic printing. Taking a tip from Tenniel, perhaps, the front shows Alice going through the Looking Glass, and the back shows her coming out of it.

There are far too many illustrations to show, and I'm sorry that they're not very well photographed - it's one of those books that doesn't easily lie flat. But I hope these give you a flavour of how much variety there is.

The photographs below each image show the artist. Again, sorry they're blurred, I really tried, but short of holding the book flat with a large sheet of glass (which I don't have), I just can't get everything in focus at once!

Izumi Kyoko's Humpty Dumpty has echoes of 18th century English caricatures.

This has a formal graphic quality

And this is more the kind of Alice I'm used to seeing in Japan

Fujishiro Misaki's illustration, below, has something of the film poster about it - not sure who the hero is, or the solemn lady on the left - but quite a few manga and graphic series do cast Alice as a romantic heroine.

If I had to choose a favourite, I would perhaps go for the three dimensional work below, mostly sewn and knitted

Here is a close up of some of the 3-D work - creepy, isn't it?

I did like Ikeda Momoka's work, which focuses on animals - specially the cat looking at the chessmen. Her other illustrations are also cheerful and intriguing.

Here's a closer look at another of her takes on cats and chessmen

I really liked looking through this book and seeing all the different interpretations of the same story.