PopMatters Reviews the "Intricate" Showa 1926-1939

“Shigeru Mizuki's 'Showa' Is a Melting Pot of Manga, Photo Realism, Memoir & Narrative History” / PopMatters / Scott Elingburg / March 25, 2014

If you feel like an outsider peering into an unfamiliar world while reading Shigeru Mizuki’s mammoth graphic novel, Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan, you’re not alone. American history is long and sordid, and topics get cherry picked in its spotty public education system. Our world is crowded with abstract noise, political posturing, television identities, and spun-up commentary passing as fact, when the reality is, most of us have trouble locating Crimea, Uzbekistan, or Iraq on a world map. Showa 1926-1939 is the first of two volumes Shigeru wrote and illustrated on the history of Japan during the Showa period; a period of history when Japan, in the run-up to World War II, was devastated by economic hardships, questionable political decisions, and military turmoil. Released by Drawn & Quarterly—one of the top publishers of graphic novels—Showa is a melting pot of manga style, photo realism, memoir, and narrative history.


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