Shigeru Mizuki Zack Davisson
Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan
May 15, 2019 Comments.. 153
Showa A History of Japan The final volume in the Eisner nominated history of Japan one of NPR s Best Books of Showa A History of Japan concludes Shigeru Mizuki s dazzling autobiographical and historical account

  • Title: Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan
  • Author: Shigeru Mizuki Zack Davisson
  • ISBN: 9781770462014
  • Page: 435
  • Format: Paperback
  • The final volume in the Eisner nominated history of Japan one of NPR s Best Books of 2014 Showa 1953 1989 A History of Japan concludes Shigeru Mizuki s dazzling autobiographical and historical account of Showa period Japan, a portrait both intimate and ranging of a defining epoch The final volume picks up in the wake of Japan s utter defeat in World War II, as a countryThe final volume in the Eisner nominated history of Japan one of NPR s Best Books of 2014 Showa 1953 1989 A History of Japan concludes Shigeru Mizuki s dazzling autobiographical and historical account of Showa period Japan, a portrait both intimate and ranging of a defining epoch The final volume picks up in the wake of Japan s utter defeat in World War II, as a country reduced to rubble struggles to rise again The Korean War brings new opportunities to a nation searching for an identity A former enemy becomes their greatest ally as the United States funnels money, jobs, and opportunity into Japan, hoping to establish the country as a bulwark against Soviet Communist expansion Japan reinvents itself, emerging as an economic powerhouse Events like the Tokyo Olympiad and the World s Fair introduce a friendlier Japan to the world, but this period of peace and plenty conceals a populace still struggling to come to terms with the devastation of World War II During this period of recovery and reconciliation, Mizuki s struggles mirror those of the nation He fights his way back from poverty, becoming a celebrity who is 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 The original Japanese edition of the Showa A History of Japan series won Mizuki the prestigious Kodansha Manga Award the English translation has been nominated for an Eisner Award.

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    1 Blog on “Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan

    1. David Schaafsma says:

      Five stars for the epic achievement of four tomes covering the Showa period of Japanese history, both intimate and epic. Four stars for this volume, maybe, as it zips through 36 largely uninteresting years, from1953-1989, the post-WWII years, the time of economic recovery and boom. The pace of this one and its focus on sensational news events and economic upturn makes it not as riveting as the war volumes, of course.This work overall is a personal, idiosyncratic view of history, and Mizuki’s t [...]

    2. Jon(athan) Nakapalau says:

      Perfect example of the hidden potential of GN to educate. This series has set the bar highI hope to see a similar series for all countries involved in WW II.

    3. Patrick Sherriff says:

      This is the last in the four-volume manga history of Japan under Emperor Hirohito expertly translated by Zack Davisson, and as you'd expect, wraps up with some personal conclusions from Mizuki (who died just a few weeks ago at the age of 93). And those conclusions are that for Japan and Mizuki, millions of brave ordinary people sacrificed their lives "for the empty words of loyalty and patriotism." If I may quote from the end of the book:"There is no individual, only country." But it was individ [...]

    4. Stewart Tame says:

      In some ways, this is the weakest volume of the series. Mizuki has a 36 year span to cover, the largest of the four volumes in this series. While his own personal life may have been less fraught with incident during this period--basically, his entire manga career happened, so, initial struggling for recognition aside, he spent a good deal of this time at the drawing board--there is still a great deal of Japanese history to cover. So this book, at times, feels like Mizuki is rushing to pack as mu [...]

    5. Andre says:

      I loved this series on the Showa period in Japan. I found the mix of didactic history, popular history, man-on-the-street-view and personal biography to be enjoyable and I feel I learned a lot about Japan. I loved the visuals and felt that the earlier volumes were the best.

    6. Sasha Boersma says:

      Incredible collection of Japan's history during a turbulent time : rebuilding after the wars, the battle between socialism and capitalism, and trying to live. It's a very different Japan than the Western world knows today, and surprising very similar to what the west experienced in the same era.Beautifully done. Huge book - expect it to take some time to get through.

    7. Greg says:

      A good end to an impressive series. Mizuki's descriptions of Japan's recovery after the war and the lack of opportunity facing most Japanese, as well as his acknowledgement of the crimes of the past and their continuation into the present - both against the countries Japan invaded and the Japanese themselves - make these volumes a worthwhile introduction to a discussion of the Second World War.

    8. Ron says:

      Magnificent, intimate, sweeping, educational, beautiful, and deeply moving. A majestic example of this medium at its most powerful. It's the kind of work that changes what you think literature and history can be.

    9. Michael Scott says:

      Showa: a History of Japan is mangaka Shigeru Mizuki 's memoir and history lesson. In this installment, the story covers the period 1953-1989, plus a few years before and after. This manga is a masterpiece, and you should read it. I have started with this installment, rather than the series' s chronological order, for several reasons. First, 1989 concludes the Showa period, when the old Japanese emperor dies, and starts the Heisei period, of a new Japanese emperor. This allows the author to refle [...]

    10. Kelly says:

      This last book of Mizuki's thick n' thorough Showa comic opus is perhaps the heaviest of the series in that it bears the weight of the three volumes that precede it. Corresponding to the reign of the Emperor Hirohito, the series presents a whirlwind chronicle of Japan before and after the "Fifteen Years War" without prejudice, including Mizuki's own autobiographical account of the times, in manga form. It is brutal yet humorous, solemn yet cheerful, panoptic yet very, very personal. I recommend [...]

    11. Marsha Altman says:

      An excellent end to a seriously massive and important text on the Showa period. Not a lot happens in post-war Japan, politically, so it's mostly about socio-economic changes and Mizuki's difficult career as a manga artist. At one point he almost dies from overwork. The current events read a bit like a crime blotter. His own personal story of personal frustration is more important.

    12. Derek Royal says:

      The temporal scope of this volume, covering more years than the previous three volumes combined, makes this a different kind of reading experience. There are more events and cultural moments packed into this one, at times at an almost breakneck pace.

    13. O. says:

      WHAT A GODDAMN JOURNEY THAT WAS HUFF! Shigeru Mizuki gave me so much to think about, filled me with so many ideas and such precious information about the beloved Japan. This could be the best manga I've ever read, throw away all the nonsense they sell in endless volumes, THIS is good manga.

    14. mica-micare says:

      This series of books is incredible. I did find it a bit of a challenge to wrap my head around reading right to left sometimes, but the absolute density of these books, as well as mixture of personal and global history is incredible. Specifically, this particular volume threw information and history at the reader with an almost overwhelming pace, but I sincerely enjoyed reading about Mizuki's struggles to establish himself as a successful artist, and thereafter the struggle of maintaining that su [...]

    15. Devon says:

      As I started the final volume of Showa, I was overcome by a sense of melancholy. My journey, following Shigeru Mizuki through the Showa era was coming to an end. Here, we see Shigeru finally attain success and the new set of challenges that entails. With stability comes the opportunity for reflection, both on Shigeru's life and the undertaking of Showa: A History of Japan itself.There are no exciting battle illustrations, but there are lots of interesting vistas of Japan's developing skylines. I [...]

    16. Daniel says:

      Shigeru Mizuki autobiography in Manga and a brilliant history of Japan. Mizuki served in the armed forces in WWII and explores the rise of Japan from the ashes of the war to becoming a major economic power. It asks an essential question on human happiness: Post War Japan is a wealthy prosperous society but there was so much unhappiness. Subsistence societies in the Pacific Islands were impoverished but there was great happiness. Mizuki was at times the quintessential starving artist, and at time [...]

    17. Tobias says:

      My favorite volume of the series, largely because while there is an abundance of good stories about prewar and wartime Japan, less has been said about life in prosperous, high-growth half of Showa. Mizuki shows that even as Japan boomed, the benefits took a long time to raise everyone up. Of course, as a Japanese politics otaku, I was also interested in what "high politics" events merited inclusion in his narrative (the Lockheed scandal, the 1960 treaty demonstrations, the evolution of the Japan [...]

    18. Jason Mccue says:

      The final book in the Showa series. It brings an amazing set of Manga books to an end, both for the Show period itself as well as Shigeru's story. This time it brings readers through to the end of life for the Emporer and starts to show how, while prosperous, Japan is still not very happy being industrialized. It tells a great little morale that you can be happy with less and often at times you can only be happy with less.Highly recommended for artist lovers, history lovers, or just great book l [...]

    19. Ian Hrabe says:

      Shigeru Mizuki burns through the post-post-war years at a rapid clip. It feels a bit like a greatest hits collection of highlights and lowlights in Japan's rise as an international economic juggernaut. Mostly it's full of WEIRD, lurid crimes, domestic terrorism, and student uprisings. The autobiographical bits are incredible, and the strength of this series was always Shigeru Mizuki's personal interactions and opinions about the Showa period. The payoff is beautiful and satisfying and I can't re [...]

    20. Dan Polley says:

      I'm sad to see this series conclude. It provided such a great historic look into a period in Japan's history. The way Shigeru Mizuki weaves his personal history in with a larger historic view of the country, via economics, politics and war, showed how large-scale issues affected people on an individual basis.

    21. James Eckman says:

      A very idiosyncratic view of this period with quite a bit of it being the author's personal life. Several incidents seem to be fantasy dream sequences, hence the fiction marking. If your interested solely in history, you can give it pass.

    22. Skjam! says:

      This is the final volume of Shigeru Mizuki’s history of Japan and his personal life during the Showa Era. It mixes events that affected the entire country with stories of his struggles as a man and an artist.As noted in the introduction by Frederik L. Schodt, this volume covers more time than the previous three put together. It covers Japan’s transition from a militarized country reeling from utter defeat, to a nation that was all about business. Many of the events covered will be new to Ame [...]

    23. Aoi says:

      As commendable a feat to showcase an entire era, Mizuki does fall short of excellence in the last volume. With the war over and globalization rushing in, there seem to be a whole bunch of topics to cover that lend little correlation.But the end, as usual, we turn to the war that shaped the era - Mizuki's voice and his message to the readers "There is no individual, only country." But it was individuals who received those death sentences called draft notices. We were supposed to be proud to die f [...]

    24. Woody Curran says:

      Great conclusion to a great series. Only thing keeping me from rating it a 5 is the heavy inclusion of many Japanese cultural and political events that fly by in one or two panels. Obviously it was written for a Japanese audience that would know those references and back stories, but they make it a bit of a confusing read other than to get a general impression of the times those events occurred.Overall, the series was beautiful and tragic with a wonderful juxtaposition of the realistic historica [...]

    25. Matt Portnoy says:

      A remarkable conclusion to an epic tale. I was sad to learn that he passed away not long ago and am anxious to find more of his work, if only to see how he incorporated his experiences into those stories.

    26. Stephen Douglas Rowland says:

      Relentlessly fascinating, frequently hilarious, and deeply moving, Mizuki's epic 'Showa' is not only (unquestionably) the greatest manga I've ever read, but one the world's great works of literature.

    27. Zachary says:

      The Showa series by Mizuki is phenomenal. I'm kind of sad I've read them all

    28. Kelly Dashiell says:

      Excellent series

    29. Harris says:

      Among the books I read last year in order to reflect on my 2015 trip to Japan, I'd recently been reading this autobiographical series by Shigeru Mizuki, one of Japan's most famous manga artists. Mizuki passed away only a few months after my visit, but only recently has his work slowly been published in the United States. The fourth and final entry in Mizuki’s four part Showa series, 1953-1989, which chronciles the history of the Japanese nation and Mizuki's experience as part of it was recentl [...]

    30. The_Mad_Swede says:

      This is the fourth and final volume of Shigeru Mizuki's epic four volume history (and personal memoir) of the Japanese Showa period, stretching from 1926-1989 (a period which Mizuki (1922-2015) himself obviously lived through and had a living memory of when made the series). Mizuki creates a fantastic account of history and an enticing memoir by blending photo-realistic art and very factual accounts with more cartoonish characterisation of himself and his own personal story within that framework [...]

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