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March 8th - Hakaba no Kitaro by kanyiko March 8th - Hakaba no Kitaro by kanyiko
A Year in Comics - March 8th

Ittan-Momen, Kitarō, Medama-Oyaji and Neko-Musume - Hakaba no Kitarō

Shigeru Mizuki was born as Shigeru Mura on March 8th 1922 in Osaka, Osaka prefecture in Japan, as the second of three sons to the Mura family.  Growing up in the coastal town of Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, he was often involved in fights at his school, however he mostly impressed his teachers by his artistic qualities.  He loved listening to ghost stories told to him by a local.  However, when the Second World War broke out, Shigeru Mura was conscripted in 1942 into the Imperial Japanese Army, serving as a soldier in the defence of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea.  His service career was brutal: Shigaru contracted malaria, and saw his friends die of disease and combat injuries; eventually Shigeru himself was injured in combat, losing his dominant left arm in an allied air strike.

While in a field hospital, Shigeru was befriended by the Papuan locals, who offered him to stay with them; however his unit doctor shamed him in returning to Japan.  Any plans to return to Papua were stopped by the Japanese military defeat in 1945: not only was he not allowed to travel abroad under the Allied Occupation, but he also was confronted with the fact that his brother, an artillery officer, had been convicted as a war criminal for executing Allied prisoners of war.

Invalided, Shigeru Mura worked as a movie theatre operator after the war, while learning to draw again with his non-dominant arm.  During this time he adopted the name Mizuki after the Mizuki Inn where he worked for a while, drawing illustrations for folklore stories.

In 1957, Shigeru Mizuki had his debut as a manga artist with his series Rocketman.  However, his breakthrough came in 1960 with the series Hakaba no Kitarō (1960-1964), later adapted as GeGeGe no Kitarō (1967-1969), based on an early-20th century folk story about a half-Yōkai boy.  Together with his later series Kappa no Sanpei (1961-1962) and Akuma-Kun (1963-1964), it established Mizuki's reputation as a master in the genre of yōkai stories.

However, Shigeru Mizuki later also established himself as a historian, writing both books and manga on historic events and characters, such as his manga Sōin Gyokusai Seyo (1973, translated as Onwards to our Noble Deaths in 2011) about his time as a soldier in Papua New Guinea; War and Japan (1991), an educational work about the atrocities committed by the Japanese military in Korea and China during World War II; Comic Showa-shi (1988-1989, translated as Showa: A History of Japan), a manga about the history of Japan during the Shōwa Period (1926-1989); and most notably Hitler (1971), a biography in manga form about the fascist dictator Adolf Hitler.

For his work, Shigeru Mizuki received almost every conceivable prize, ranging from the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for his entire oeuvre; the Best Comic Book award at the renouned French Angoulême International Comics Festival; the Eisner Award; the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun; the Japanese Person of Cultural Merit award; and so on.  Both in his native town of Sakaiminato as well as in the Papuan city of Rabaul, he has been honoured with the naming of a Mizuki Road; additionally, his work is honoured in Sakaiminato in the Shigeru Mizuki International Cultural Center.

On November 30, 2015, Shigeru Mizuki suffered a heart attack at his home, and subsequently passed away in a Tokyo hospital at the age of 93.


84th entry of ?

March 7th - Jonathan Cartland and Young Blueberry by kanyiko  March 7th - Nana by kanyiko <- Back to March 7th ---------- Forward to March 9th ->  March 9th - Bananaman by kanyiko
benitezdk Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
  Indeed a bad start!  ... But a glamourous ending!  :heart:
burstlion Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! ^_^
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Submitted on
March 7
Image Size
141 KB


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