Showa 1953-1989: 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.
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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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