This bibliography covers academic/scholarly publications on Shigeru Mizuki and his works written in English that I am aware of, and will be updated on a continuing basis as I identify new items to add.
Last update: March 28, 2021
- Wang, Qiaodan, & Seaton, Philip. The war metaphors underpinning Mizuki Shigeru’s yokai tourism.
In Takayoshi Yamamura & Philip Seaton (eds.). War as entertainment and contents tourism in Japan (pp. 130-134). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
“Mizuki Shigeru (1922-2015) is one of Japan’s most celebrated manga artists for his works set in the fantasy world of yōkai (monsters or ghosts in Japanese folklore). These manga have been adapted into multiple anime and Mizuki’s life featured in a major television drama, Gegege no nyōbō in 2010. All these works have triggered contents tourism. However, behind Mizuki’s yōkai stories lurk his experiences as a soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Pacific War. This chapter examines the ‘absent presence’ (Igarashi Yoshikuni) of his war experiences in his yōkai manga, and therefore Mizuki-related contents tourism as a particular type of war-related tourism.”
- Hasegawa, Yuki. Kokoro (心): Civic epistemology of self-knowledge in Japanese war-themed manga.
In Roman Rosenbaum (ed.). The representation of Japanese politics in manga: The visual literacy of statecraft (pp. 245-264). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
[Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths]
- Kato, Daniela. Eco-intermediality and the artful recluse’s hut: Mizuki Shigeru’s manga Hojoki. Ekhphrasis: Images: Theory, Cinema, Media, 24(2), 49-71.
“This article proposes eco-intermediality as a cross-fertilization between what has been the hitherto predominantly thematic orientation of ecocriticism and the more form-oriented concerns of intermediality studies. To explore the transformative potential of this eco-intermedial conceptual framework, I focus on the 2013 manga adaptation of Hōjōki by the Japanese visual artist Mizuki Shigeru. Hōjōki (1212) is a medieval essay written by the Japanese poet-monk Kamo no Chōmei and bearing witness to a string of environmental disasters that overtook Kyoto at around the end of the twelfth century. The combination of a poignant environmental theme with a long history of translations and adaptations makes this work particularly amenable to an eco-intermedial approach. My main argument is that the post-Fukushima adaptation by Mizuki is a game-changer in such history, inasmuch as the artist brings his unique environmental imaginary and the distinctive formal affordances of manga to bear on Chōmei’s text, so as to convey the sense of a world where objects and phenomena are endowed with agency and thus outside full human control. The ultimate aim of the present article is to highlight the far-reaching ecological implications of the intermedial textures that Mizuki creates in his manga Hōjōki to express an environmental imaginary hinged on material agency and empathy.”
- Suzuki, Shige. Yōkai monsters at large: Mizuki Shigeru’s manga, transmedia practices, and (lack of) cultural politics.
In Dal Yong Jin (ed.). Transmedia storytelling in East Asia: The age of digital media (pp. 183-200). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
- Nishino, Ryota. Better late than never? Mizuki Shigeru’s trans-war reflections on journeys to New Britain Island. Japan Review, 32, 107-126.
“Renowned manga artist Mizuki Shigeru’s (1922–2015) multiple wartime memoirs and travelogues of his time in New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea, comprise a historical literature that provides insights into both the constant features and the shifts in Mizuki’s perceptions. This article explores Mizuki’s repeated renditions of his journeys by charting his evolving attitudes of admiration, disillusionment, resolution, and closure. While he identified with the villagers’ carefree lifestyle as an antithesis to the workto- rule postwar Japanese work ethic, each visit made him more concerned about the decline in the idyllic qualities of New Britain Island. The deaths of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 and of ToPetro, Mizuki’s closest village friend, a few years later spurred introspection on his wartime memory and his attitude toward the villagers. Mizuki grew receptive toward the villagers’ past and present grievances and reevaluated his relationship with them. He intended his parting gestures to repay the moral debt he had incurred. However, he failed to ask himself what his journeys meant to ToPetro and the villagers. This article suggests that a consideration of Mizuki’s changing reflections of these relationships could form a sub-genre of war veterans’ travelogues of their former battle site visits. Their writings may be understood to echo the broader power dynamics of the relationship between Japan and Papua New Guinea from the wartime period through to the postwar era.”
- Suzuki, Shige. Yokai monsters at large: Mizuki Shigeru’s manga, transmedia practices, and (lack of) cultural politics. International Journal of Communication, 13, 2199-2215.
“This study engages in a discussion of yōkai (preternatural monsters in Japanese folklore) characters in Mizuki Shigeru’s manga and their transmedia expansion not as an expression of Japanese cultural tradition, but as an outcome of transmedia adaptation practices (known as “media mix” in Japan) in the modern period by creators, media companies, and other social agents. This study argues that recent Japanese transmedia practices are principally propelled by the specific style of character drawing found in the manga medium and the character-centric multimedia production scheme, which makes manga(-originated) characters—including yōkai characters—versatile for moving across different media platforms. Although transmedia practices can enhance the potential for producing synergies among previously discrete cultural industries and media companies to attain more profits, such a close relationship undermines the autonomy of each media industry, company, and other actors, which can attenuate social critique or cultural politics previously exercised through storytelling in manga, including Mizuki’s yōkai works. By analyzing the transmedia practices that have used Mizuki’s yōkai manga as “original” sources, this article addresses what has been gained and lost when yōkai are migrated into different media platforms.”
- Greene, Barbara. Furusato and emotional pilgrimage: Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro and Sakaiminato. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 43(2), 336-346.
- Spanjers, Rik. Wartime weddings: Realism and war representation in Shigeru Mizuki’s Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths. Image [&] Narrative, 17(4).
- Olutokun, Deji Bryce. The Showa masterwork of manga pioneer Shigeru Mizuki. World Literature Today, 89(3/4), 24-28.
- Berndt, Jaqueline. Ghostly: ‘Asian graphic narratives,’ Nonnonba, and manga. In Daniel Stein & Jan-Noel Thon (eds.). From comic strips to graphic novels: Contributions to the theory and history of graphic narrative (pp. 363-384). Berlin: De Gruyter.
- Shamoon, Deborah. The yōkai in the database: Supernatural creatures and folklore in manga and anime. Marvels & Tales, 27(2), 276-289.
“I consider the Japanese anime and manga narratives Gegege no Kitarō by Mizuki Shigeru and Inuyasha by Takahashi Rumiko, which draw on Japanese folklore, and discuss how they reinterpret supernatural creatures, or yōkai, for a modern audience. Since the Edo period (1603–1867), yōkai have been presented in encyclopedic format. Mizuki, through manga, has continued and enhanced that approach to yōkai discourse. The encyclopedic format has made the yōkai easily assimilable not only into modern culture alongside more recently invented cartoon characters, but also into manga and anime, such as Inuyasha. This speaks to the power and creative possibility of the yōkai database. There is a striking similarity between the database of yōkai and the database approach to narrative that Azuma Hiroki describes as an identifying trait of otaku consumption of manga and anime. I argue that database creation and consumption is not a recent development, nor is it unique to otaku. The database is one way to talk about both anime and yōkai more productively and to expand the ways we talk about how texts are produced and consumed.”
- Suzuki, Shige. Learning from monsters: Mizuki Shigeru’s yokai and war manga. Image [&] Narrative, 12(1), 229-244.
“This paper first attempts to identify and explore the thematic and formalistic continuity of his manga by illustrating his lived life and career as a cartoonist. Mizuki has an experience of drawing paintings and comics in various mediums in the course of the development of postwar Japanese comics, which stylistically distinguishes him from other postwar story manga creators. By situating his life in wartime and post-war periods of Japanese history, I will bring his aesthetics, philosophy, and nuanced critique of society to the surface. Featuring anti-heroic and grotesque human and non-human characters as main protagonists, Mizuki’s manga demonstrates a critique of wartime imperialism and postwar Japanese society, both of which seemed to him to be suppressive and dehumanizing. As a whole, I argue that the preferred use of premodern cultural traditions and unique aesthetic components epitomize not merely a nostalgic longing for a disappearing Japanese tradition in the progress of rapid modernization, but also his utopian cosmology, which critically addresses the alienated condition of modern human life.”
- Foster, Michael Dylan. Haunted travelogue: Hometowns, ghost towns, and memories of war. Mechademia, 4, 164-181.
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- Foster, Michael Dylan. The otherworlds of Mizuki Shigeru. Mechademia, 3, 8-28.
[ed. note: The author incorporated much of this article into a chapter in Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008]
- Penney, Matthew. War and Japan: The non-fiction manga of Mizuki Shigeru. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.
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- Rosenbaum, Roman. Mizuki Shigeru’s Pacific War. International Journal of Comic Art, 10(2), 354-379.