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Excellence Award

konosekai no katasumi ni

KOUNO Fumiyo

Story manga [Japan]

This work is something like a sequel to her outstanding work, YUNAGI NO MACHI SAKURA NO KUNI. This is the story of a family set during the Second World War in the city of Kure, Hiroshima. The heroine is URANO Suzu, who was born in the fishing town in Hiroshima. She marries HOJO Shusaku, a naval officer living in the uptown area of Kure city. Though confused by her new family, new town and new world, she lives with a sense of certainty and intense effort.

© Fumiyo Kouno / Futabasha

Profile

KOUNO Fumiyo

Japan

She was born in 1968 in Hiroshima, and debuted with Machikado Hanadayori in 1995. Her outstanding works are YUNAGI NO MACHI SAKURA NO KUNI (the 8th Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize and the 9th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, Newcomer Award from Asahi Shimbun), Sansan-Roku, Nagai Michi, Pippira-Chou, and Kokko-San.

( 2009 )

Award Reason

Though small and slightly lacking in character, Suzu, the heroine, is a very normal, affable and adorable girl. Her character is the main charm of this work. Suzu receives a marriage proposal from a man she meets for the first time. She marries him and moves to the naval town of Kure. As if guided by her on a journey back in time to wartime Japan, you will find familiar places you have never been, people who are rich though they really are poor, and a world with a cruel destiny but one that is natural, warm and refreshing. Although the story is based on real life during wartime, it is amazing that this work is not ideological but profoundly universal, and it has become a Shoujo manga, i.e. one that primarily targets girls, which ignites every reader’s heartbeat. Not measuring it by today’s standards, it is assiduously and carefully drawn, accepting of the life in those times, yet full of charm and adventure. This was made possible by the author’s unyielding attitude toward its creation. This is a work that shows us how precious and wonderful it is to live one’s daily life wholeheartedly. It makes us want to read it over and over again.

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