A History of Japan
The final, Eisner Award-winning chapter of a legendary cartoonist's history of Japan
Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan concludes award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki's stunning historical and autobiographical series about Japanese life in the twentieth century. The final volume picks up in the wake of utter defeat in World War II, covering the United States' shift from enemy to ally. Jobs, money, and opportunity are funneled along in a bid to establish the country as a bulwark against Communist expansion. Japan thus reinvents itself, emerging as an economic powerhouse. Events like the Tokyo Olympiad and the World's Fair reintroduce the world to a much friendlier Japan, but this period of peace and plenty conceals a populace still struggling to come to terms with the devastation of their all-too-recent past.
Mizuki's own struggles mirror those of the nation during this period of recovery and reconciliation. He fights his way back from poverty, rising to the rank of cartoon celebrity beloved by millions of manga-reading children. However, prosperity cannot bring the happiness Mizuki craves, as he struggles to find meaning in the sacrifices made during the war. This visionary series, told by a true man of his time, is a magnum opus fully representative of the graphic novel as world literature.
About this Author
Shigeru Mizuki (1922-2015) was one of Japan's most respected artists. A creative prodigy, he lost an arm in World War II. After the war, Mizuki became one of the founders of Japan's latest craze--manga. He invented the yokai genre with GeGeGe no Kitaro, his most famous character, who has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live action, and video games. In fact, a new anime series has been made every decade since 1968, capturing the imaginations of generations of Japanese children. A researcher of yokai and a real-life ghost hunter, Mizuki traveled to over sixty countries to engage in fieldwork based on spirit folklore. In his hometown of Sakaiminato, one can find Shigeru Mizuki Road, a street decorated with bronze statues of his Kitaro characters.
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