HISTORIE, a manga that follows the life since childhood of the boy who would later in his life become the secretary to Alexander the Great, and Fuuunji-tachi bakumatsuhen, a comical manga that depicts, from a global perspective, the adventures of a group of samurai in the last days of the TOKUGAWA Shogunate, are both works on a grand scale. What these two works that remained in the competition for the Grand Prize have in common is the direct approach to history, and the power to draw vividly and with emotional attachment a rather realistic picture of a time period and figures, achieving historical authenticity. If I have to compare them to rakugo, HISTORIE represents a new type of rakugo, while Fuuunji-tachi bakumatsuhen is a classic rakugo. Overflowing with entertainment elements that open new horizons for development of the new manga world, HISTORIE won the Grand Prize by a small margin, but I believe that Fuuunji-tachi bakumatsuhen is a work of enlightenment and a historical chronicle that is needed today. The recipients of the Excellence Prize are all outstanding works that venture into new fields of expression. I enjoyed to my heart's content the appeal of manga as a form of entertainment.
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture, 1948. Debuted with Yoru ga Aketara (Shonengahosha) in Young Comic in 1968 while studying at Meiji University. Known for a wide range of works, including Kurohata Suikoden, Taisho Jigokuhen (originally by TAKENAKA Ro), Eagle Eagle, and Happo Yabure. Received the 11th, 14th, and 26th Kodansha Manga Awards for After, Chinmoku no Kantai, and ZIPANG, the 51st Shogakukan Manga Award for Taiyo no Mokushiroku, and the Grand Prize in the Manga Division at the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival. Currently runs a series Boku wa Beatles (original by FUJII Testuo), the manga version of a work that won a up-and-coming artists award.
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