Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators

Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators is a beautiful introduction to a variety of art styles and a demonstration of how Japan inspires a wide range of material.

The entries in this anthology are by nine French creators and eight Japanese. The Europeans spent two weeks in various Japanese cities, while the locals were asked to create stories about their hometowns. Within the broad theme of the country, there are all kinds of stories, including a travelogue featuring cartoony talking shoes, a sketchbook-like exploration of the physical in a bathhouse, autobiography in illustrated text, and a simply drawn fable.

Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators cover
Japan as Viewed
by 17 Creators
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Each story is introduced with a brief biography of the creator, which also makes this book an excellent sampler. The curious now know where to go to find more work by these talents. Most of the stories are 10-16 pages, longer than in many anthologies, which gives the reader a satisfying taste.

The book begins well with a story by Kan Takahama. She uses realistic soft pencil to illustrate the conflicting draws of relationships and hometown locations, creating a thoughtful atmosphere of longing and mild regret.

All of the stories are thought-provoking, but the gorgeous thin-line work of Jiro Taniguchi (The Walking Man) is a standout. He tells of an orphan girl, a distant cousin, who’s about to married in the fishing village where his family lives. It’s only an incident in his life but a turning point, a road not taken, in hers. It’s not the only piece the reader is left thinking about long after the book’s covers have been closed.

See sample pages at the publisher’s website.

Similar Posts: Jiro Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast Begins! § Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast Call for Participation § Taniguchi and the Definition of Manga § *Kodoku no Gourmet (The Solitary Gourmet) — Recommended § Jiro Taniguchi Topic of Next Manga Moveable Feast

5 Comments

  1. [...] Yaoi 911 reviews Rin! Alex describes it as a “coming-of-age archery romance,” which sounds, well, different. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna enjoys Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators. [...]

  2. [...] Johanna Draper Carlson examines the anthology Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators and the second volume of Takashi Hashiguchi’s Yakitate!! Japan. [...]

  3. [...] Fanfare/Ponent Mon has put out some very good translated manga, including The Walking Man and Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators. They’ve also put out some books that they call “nouvelle manga“, which seems to [...]

  4. [...] but their production value is such that their manga is worth waiting for. Their 2006 anthology Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators (available for reorder, MAR10 0946, $25) now has a followup, Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators (MAR10 [...]

  5. [...] the states, he received five Eisner nominations in four years for his own work and one as part of Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, our groundbreaking anthology book. I believe that reflects both the strength of Taniguchi’s [...]

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