by Shigeru Mizuki
A fascinating period in Japanese history recounted by manga's most distinguished author
Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan lays the groundwork for Eisner award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki's historical and autobiographical series about Japanese life in the twentieth century. Depicted against his trademark photorealistic backdrops, Mizuki effortlessly portrays a nation forced into a period of upheaval and brings history into the realm of the personal. Indeed, as a child coming of age in the Showa era, the author's earliest memories coincide with key events of the time.
It all begins with the Great Kanto Earthquake, a natural disaster that forces the country into a financial crisis. The period leading up to World War II is thus a time of economic hardship and record unemployment. Forthright descriptions of ensuing militarization reveal Mizuki's lifelong stanceas a thoughtful pacifist, critical of domestically disputed events like the Nanjing Massacre clearly painted here as an atrocity. This first volume in a four-part series is a captivating historical portrait tracking the industrial and societal developments that would come to shape Japan's foreign policy in the interwar period.