Shigeru Mizuki

Last updated

Shigeru Mizuki
水木 しげる
Mizuki Shigeru from Mizukipro.jpg
BornShigeru Mura
(1922-03-08)March 8, 1922
Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
DiedNovember 30, 2015(2015-11-30) (aged 93)
Tokyo, Japan
NationalityJapanese
Area(s)Writer, penciller, inker, manga artist,
Notable works
GeGeGe no Kitarō
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Akuma-kun
Showa: A History of Japan
Awards See below

Shigeru Mizuki(水木 しげる,Mizuki Shigeru, March 8, 1922 – November 30, 2015) was a Japanese manga author and historian, best known for his series GeGeGe no Kitarō (Japanese: ゲゲゲの鬼太郎, literally "spooky Kitarō") – originally titled Hakaba Kitarō (Japanese: 墓場鬼太郎, literally "Kitarō of the Graveyard") – Kappa no Sanpei, and Akuma-kun. Born in a hospital in Osaka and raised in the city of Sakaiminato in Tottori prefecture, [1] he later moved to Chōfu, Tokyo where he remained until his death. His pen-name, Mizuki, comes from the time when he managed an inn called 'Mizuki Manor' while he drew pictures for kamishibai. A specialist in stories of Yōkai (妖怪, traditional Japanese monsters, ghouls, and goblins), he is considered a master of the genre. Mizuki was also a noted historian, publishing works relating to world history, Japanese history, and his own World War II experience.

<i>GeGeGe no Kitarō</i> 2007 manga series by Shigeru Mizuki

GeGeGe no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎), originally known as Kitarō of the Graveyard, is a Japanese manga series created in 1960 by Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. This story was an early 20th-century Japanese folk tale performed on kamishibai. It has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live action and video games. The word "Ge Ge Ge" (ゲゲゲ) in the title is a cackling noise in the Japanese language.

Sakaiminato, Tottori City in Chūgoku, Japan

Sakaiminato is a city in Tottori Prefecture, Japan.

Tottori Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Tottori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region. The capital is the city of Tottori. It is the least populous prefecture in Japan.

Contents

Life

Shigeru Mizuki at age 18, c. 1940 Shigeru Mizuki at age 18.jpg
Shigeru Mizuki at age 18, c. 1940

Mizuki was born Shigeru Mura (武良 茂 Mura Shigeru) in the city of Osaka, the second of three sons. He was raised in the coastal city of Sakaiminato 境港, where he spent much of his childhood as a 'scrapper': picking fights and participating in childish warfare with the neighbouring children. [1] He displayed from an early age a particular talent for art. During his time in elementary school, Mizuki's teachers were so impressed by his skills with a pencil that they organised an exhibition of his work, and he later went on to be featured in the Mainichi newspaper as something of an artistic prodigy. [1] In addition to this penchant for the artistic, Mizuki had an interest in the supernatural - something that was fueled by listening to ghost stories told by a local woman named Fusa Kageyama, [1] but whom the young Mizuki nicknamed "Nononba". [1] [2]

However, in 1942, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army and sent to New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea. His wartime experiences affected him greatly, as he contracted malaria, watched friends die from battle wounds and disease, and dealt with other horrors of war. Finally, in an Allied air raid, he was caught in an explosion and lost his dominant (left) arm. Regarding this life-changing event, a Nov. 30, 2015 NHK announcement of his death showed excerpts of a video interview with him at age 80, in which he said that as the only survivor of his unit, he was 'ordered to die' — a prospect he considered ridiculous. The result of Mizuki's wartime experience was a concurrent sense of pacifism and goodwill. In the same interview, he explained that his Yōkai characters can be seen only in times of peace, not war, and that he purposely created these supernatural creatures to be of no specific ethnicity or nationality as a hint of the potential for humanity. While in a Japanese field hospital on Rabaul, he was befriended by the local Tolai tribespeople, who offered him land, a home, and citizenship via marriage to a Tolai woman. [3] Mizuki acknowledged that he considered remaining behind, but was shamed by a military doctor into returning home to Japan first for medical treatment to his arm and to face his parents, which he did reluctantly. [2]

Battle of Rabaul (1942) battle

The Battle of Rabaul, also known by the Japanese as Operation R, was fought on the island of New Britain in the Australian Territory of New Guinea, in January and February 1942. It was a strategically significant defeat of Allied forces by Japan in the Pacific campaign of World War II, with the Japanese invasion force quickly overwhelming the small Australian garrison, the majority of which was either killed or captured. Hostilities on the neighbouring island of New Ireland are also usually considered to be part of the same battle. Rabaul was significant because of its proximity to the Japanese territory of the Caroline Islands, site of a major Imperial Japanese Navy base on Truk.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

New Britain island of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea

New Britain is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits and from New Ireland by St. George's Channel. The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe. The island is roughly the size of Taiwan. While the island was part of German New Guinea, it was named Neupommern.

Upon arriving home, Mizuki had initially planned to return to New Guinea; however, the occupation of Japan changed that. His injuries did little to help, nor did the fact that his older brother, an artillery officer, was convicted as a war criminal for having prisoners of war executed. After his return to Japan he worked at a variety of jobs including as a fish salesman and kamishibai artist.

Occupation of Japan

The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan. This foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt. The occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, and effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was fully restored.

War crime serious violation of the laws of war

A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations.

In 1957, Mizuki released his debut work, Rocketman. He published numerous works afterwards, both dealing with the military and with yōkai. He has also written many books on both subjects, including an autobiography about his time on New Britain Island and a manga biography of Adolf Hitler. [2]

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power to become dictator of Germany, serving as Chancellor from 1933 and Führer ("Leader") from 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He closely supervised military operations during the war and by December 1941 had full control of all strategic decisions, especially on the Eastern Front. He was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

In 1972 he publishes the gekiga graphic novel Nonnonba about his grandmother.

Gekiga

Gekiga (劇画) is a Japanese term for comics that literally means "dramatic pictures". It describes comics aimed at adult audiences with a cinematic style and more mature themes. The name gekiga was coined in 1957 by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and adopted by other more serious Japanese cartoonists, who did not want their trade to be known by the more common term manga or "whimsical pictures". It is akin to English speakers who prefer the term "graphic novel", as opposed to "comic book".

In 1991, he released a short work titled War and Japan published in The Sixth Grader, a popular edutainment magazine for young people, detailing the atrocities committed by the Japanese Army during their rampage in China and Korea and is narrated by Nezumi Otoko. [4] The work serves as a powerful counterpoint to revisionist manga like the works of Yoshinori Kobayashi and by extension a way for Mizuki to express his anger at those responsible for all of Japan's victims. From 1989 till 1998 he works on the series Showa: A History of Japan following the same approach and describing the Showa history combined with personal anecdotes. In these books Nezumi Otoko is also the narrator.

When not working in either field, he painted a number of subjects, though these works are not as well known as his literary ones which have made him a household name. In 2003, he returned to Rabaul to rekindle his friendship with the locals, who had named a road after him in his honor.

In 2005, Mizuki appeared in a cameo role in Yōkai Daisenso ("The Great Yokai War") directed by Takashi Miike, a film about Yōkai inspired by his work as well as the work of Aramata Hiroshi. He appears towards the end of the film in the role of the Great Elder Yōkai: a pacifistic character who condemns the warring ways of the film's antagonist and reaffirms the role of Yōkai as peaceful, playful creatures. [5] A brief explanation about his works also is mentioned in the film. In 2010, NHK broadcast an asadora about his married life, Gegege no Nyōbō , based on his wife's autobiography.

On November 30, 2015, Shigeru Mizuki died of heart failure in a Tokyo hospital after collapsing at his home from a heart attack. [6]

Sakaiminato

Mizuki Road
Mizuki Road
Mizuki Road

Sakaiminato, Mizuki's childhood home, has a street dedicated to the ghosts and monsters that appear in his stories. One hundred bronze statues of the story's characters line both sides of the road. There is also a museum featuring several of his creations and works.

Awards

Mizuki has won numerous awards and accolades for his works, especially GeGeGe no Kitarō. Among these are:

Selected works

in English

Manga


Books

Related Research Articles

<i>Yōkai</i> class of supernatural monsters and spirits in Japanese folklore (for yōkai from a work of fiction see Q32851726)

Yōkai are a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for "bewitching; attractive; calamity"; and "spectre; apparition; mystery; suspicious". They can also be called ayakashi (あやかし), mononoke (物の怪), or mamono (魔物). Yōkai range diversely from the malevolent to the mischievous, or occasionally bring good fortune to those who encounter them.

Tsugumi Ohba is the pen name of a Japanese gensakusha or writer of manga, best known for authoring the Death Note manga series with illustrator Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006, which has 30 million collected volumes in circulation. The duo's second series Bakuman. (2008–2012), was also successful with 15 million in circulation. In 2014, Ohba collaborated with My Little Monster creator Robico for the one-shot "Skip! Yamada-kun". Another series with Obata called Platinum End began in the December 2015 issue of Jump SQ on November 4, 2015.

<i>The Great Yokai War</i> 2005 film by Takashi Miike

The Great Yokai War is a 2005 Japanese fantasy children's film directed by Takashi Miike and produced by Kadokawa Pictures. It was released under the international English title The Great Yōkai War by Tokyo Shock.

Nuppeppō

The nuppeppō, or nuppefuhō is a genderless yōkai in Japanese folklore described as having a flabby appearance and a pungent body odor. It has appeared in Japanese literature since the 18th century.

<i>Nurikabe</i>

The nurikabe is a yōkai, or spirit, from Japanese folklore. Its name translates to "plaster wall," and it is said to manifest as an invisible wall that impedes or misdirects travelers walking at night. Sometimes referred to in English as "The Wall" or "Mr. Wall," this yōkai is described as quite tall, to prevent people from climbing over it, and wide enough to dampen any attempts to go around it. Japanese scholar and folklorist Kunio Yanagita recorded perhaps the most prominent early example of nurikabe and other yōkai in his books. Manga artist Mizuki Shigeru claims to have encountered a nurikabe in New Guinea, inspiring a nurikabe character in his manga Gegege no Kitarō.

Yokai Monsters (妖怪シリーズ) is a trilogy of Japanese horror/fantasy films written by Tetsuro Yoshida and released in the late 1960s. The films were produced by Daiei Film.

Futakuchi-onna

A futakuchi-onna is a type of yōkai or Japanese monster. They are characterized by their two mouths – a normal one located on her face and second one on the back of the head beneath the hair. There, the woman's skull splits apart, forming lips, teeth and a tongue, creating an entirely functional second mouth.

Isamu Tanonaka Japanese voice actor

Isamu Tanonaka was a Japanese voice actor from Taitō, Tokyo. He was best known for voicing Medama Oyaji in nearly every adaptation of Shigeru Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitarō made during his lifetime.

Wanyūdō

Wanyūdō, also known as "Firewheel" or "Soultaker", is a figure in Japanese mythology, a relatively well-known yōkai in the folklore of Japan; earliest reports of Wanyūdō date back to the Heian period.

<i>Dororon Enma-kun</i> manga series

Dororon Enma-kun, also known as Satanikus!, is a Japanese horror-comedy anime and manga series created by Go Nagai. It's one of Nagai's most famous works in Japan, although not very well known in the rest of the world. In 2006, it would get a sequel/remake in Demon Prince Enma, which drops the comedy and becomes a full-fledged suspense-horror series. After the OVA was released, another manga version was released called Satanikus ENMA Kerberos by Eiji Toriyama. A remake entitled Dororon Enma-kun MeeraMera began airing in Japan in April 2011.

<i>Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare</i> 1968 film by Yoshiyuki Kuroda

Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare, a.k.a. Ghosts on Parade, is a 1968 Japanese horror/fantasy film directed by Kuroda Yoshiyuki. It is the second in a trilogy of films produced in the late 1960s, all of which focus around traditional Japanese monsters known as yokai. The film was made in Fujicolor and Daieiscope.

<i>Showa: A History of Japan</i>

Showa: A History of Japan, known in Japan as Comic Showa-shi, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki. A semi autobiographical work, this manga describes the author's experiences growing up during the Shōwa period. The author is a veteran of the Japanese army, but his series is filled with critical views of Japanese and American militarism.

Nurarihyon

Nurarihyon, or Nūrihyon (ぬうりひょん), is a Japanese Yōkai said to originate from Wakayama Prefecture. It is speculated that the original name used was Nūrihyon, with Nurarihyon being a misreading that got perpetuated.

The Jubokko is a yōkai tree in Japanese folklore that appears in many books related to Japanese yōkai, including Shigeru Mizuki's works.

The sunekosuri is a Japanese yōkai. Stories are told of it in Okayama Prefecture and is said to get in the way of people's paths as they walk.

<i>Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths</i>

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is a one-shot manga written and illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki. In it, Mizuki describes his experiences as a soldier participating in the New Guinea campaign during World War II. He portrays the final weeks of his infantry service as the soldiers were instructed to die for their country to avoid the dishonor of survival.

Japanese haunted towns are towns legendarily inhabited by ghosts (yōkai). These include Yōkai Street, in Kyoto and the Yōkaichi of Shiga Prefecture.

<i>Yo-kai Watch Shadowside: Oni-ō no Fukkatsu</i> 2017 film by Shinji Ushiro

Yo-kai Watch Shadowside: Oni-ō no Fukkatsu is a 2017 Supernatural Theatrical anime film produced by OLM, Inc. and distributed by Toho. It is the fourth film in the Yo-kai Watch film series, following the 2016 film Yo-kai Watch: Soratobu Kujira to Double no Sekai no Daibōken da Nyan!, the first crossover film in the series featuring characters from Shigeru Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitarō manga and a sequel to the original anime series, the first film set 30 years after the series' storyline. It is directed by Shinji Ushiro and written by Yoichi Kato, with Level-5 president Akihiro Hino overseeing the production, including the film's script. It is released on Japanese theaters on December 16, 2017 and on DVD July 4, 2018.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Life and Death of Shigeru Mizuki, 1922-2015 The Comics Journal". www.tcj.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  2. 1 2 3 Otake, Tomoko (February 6, 2005). "Drawing on experience". The Japan Times . Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  3. Mizuki, Shigeru (2014). Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan. Showa: A History of Japan. 3. Drawn & Quarterly Publications. p. 284. ISBN   978-1-77046-162-8.
  4. Penney, Matthew (September 21, 2008). "War and Japan: The Non-Fiction Manga of Mizuki Shigeru". The Asia-Pacific Journal. Japan Focus. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  5. Haunted Travelogue: Hometowns, Ghost Towns, and Memories of War on JSTOR. JSTOR   41510934.
  6. "Kitaro, NonNonBâ Manga Creator Shigeru Mizuki Passes Away". Anime News Network. November 29, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  7. Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  8. "Shigeru Hall to Open". Anime News Network. March 3, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  9. "2003 Tezuka Award Winners". Anime News Network. April 24, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  10. "Non Non Ba to Ore Wins "Best Comic Book" Award". Anime News Network. August 2, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  11. http://www.asahi.com/shimbun/award/asahi/english.html
  12. "Nobelists Suzuki, Negishi get Order of Culture". The Japan Times. October 27, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  13. "About Me". 百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  14. "The Origin of Death Note?". ComiPress. January 8, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  15. "Tsugumi Ohba Talks about Inspiration for Death Note and Justice". ComiPress. January 15, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2015.