“Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan concludes Shigeru Mizuki’s dazzling autobiographical and historical account of Showa period Japan, a portrait both intimate and ranging of a defining epoch.
The final volume picks up in the wake of Japan’s utter defeat in World War Two, as a country reduced to rubble struggles to rise again. The Korean War brings new opportunities to the nation searching for an identity.
A former enemy becomes their greatest ally as the USA funnels money, jobs, and opportunity into Japan, hoping to establish the country as a bulwark against Soviet communist expansion. Japan reinvents itself, emerging as an economic powerhouse. Events like the Tokyo Olympiad and the World s Fair introduce a new, friendly Japan to the world, but this period of peace and plenty conceals a populace still struggling to come to terms with the devastation of WWII.
During this period of recovery and reconciliation, Shigeru Mizuki s struggles mirror those of the nation. He fights his way back from extreme poverty, becoming a national celebrity who is beloved by millions of manga-reading children.
However, prosperity cannot bring the happiness Mizuki craves, as he struggles to find meaning in the sacrifice of millions during the War.
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