Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan

A sweeping yet intimate portrait of World War II's legacy in Japan

Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan continues Eisner award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki's historical and autobiographical account of Japanese life in the twentieth century. In this volume, the tail-end of the Pacific War and its devastating consequences upon the author and his compatriots loom large. Two rival navies engage in a deadly game of feint and thrust, waging a series of ruthless military campaigns across the Pacific islands. From Guadalcanal to Okinawa, Japan slowly loses ground. When the United States unleashes the atomic bomb—then still a new and now enduringly terrible weapon—it is the ultimate, definitive blow. The catastrophic fallout from both explosions surpasses the limits of popular imagination.

Mizuki's own life is irrevocably changed in the shadow of history. After losing an arm during his time in service, the author struggles to forge a path into the future. Should he remain on the island of Rabaul as an honored friend of the local Tolai? Or should he return to the rubble of Japan and return to his earliest artistic inclinations? This penultimate installment of a landmark series is a searing condemnation of war, told with the deft hand of Japan's most celebrated cartoonist.
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"[Showa] is sweeping, ferrying us through the second Sino-Japanese War, World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War. Yet it's also surprisingly intimate: Mizuki intersperses scenes from history... with snapshots of his own life, in a cartoonish style that belies their weight."—Los Angeles Times

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