水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
Japan is known for its many Manga.
Some Mangas are so popular that their authors become popular, too.
Mizuki Shigeru, the author of Ge-Ge-Ge-no-Kitaro, is one of those people.
His life story was even made into a few different TV series.
Mizuki was born in 1922 and was raised in Tottori Prefecture.
As a child, he didn’t like to follow the rules and did things at his own pace.
He didn’t like to study but he was good at art and was interested in Yokai or ghosts.
Basically, he only did things that he wanted to do.
But he worked very hard on those things.
When Mizuki was 21 years old, he joined the Japanese army.
He did not follow the rules so the older soldiers hit him in the face many times.
Soon he was sent to a dangerous island in Papua new guinea.
Most soldiers there died.
Fighting in the war was very difficult.
One time there was a bombing attack and everyone around him died.
He knew the enemy was near so he took off his clothes, jumped to the ocean, and spent 5 days naked in the jungle.
When he finally got back to his camp he was asked,
“Why did you come back?
You should’ve killed yourself.”
Mizuki was shocked to hear this.
Why would dying be better than living?
Soon after this, he became sick with malaria.
Then his arm was hurt during another bombing attack and the doctor had to cut it off.
He lost his left arm.
But Mizuki thought it was better than dying.
During his time on the island, he saw many soldiers die.
For Mizuki, this was probably the hardest part of war.
When Mizuki was recovering after losing his arm he often visited a village of the local people on the island.
Mizuki felt that a very relaxed lifestyle matched his personality.
He wanted to live there after the war ended.
But he returned to Japan because his parents were waiting for him.
After coming back to Japan, he worked as an artist and drew many fine pictures of ghosts.
This was incredible.
Because he had to learn to draw with his right hand.
He was left-handed before he lost his arm.
At that time, he also wrote several comic books showing how difficult war is.
He worked very hard and later became successful with his hit manga ‘Ge-Ge-Ge-no-Kitaro’.
It was about the Yokai ghost he loved as a child.
He once said,
“Yokai ghosts only come into my head in times of peace.”
Mizuki died in 2015 at the age of 93.
He was a relaxed person but he was also a hard worker and continued to draw Manga until his very last days.
Mizuki and his Yokai ghosts will always be loved and remembered.