A landmark publishing event of one of Japan's most famous cartoonists
Shigeru Mizuki was the preeminent figure of Gekiga manga and one of Japan's most famous working cartoonists – a true legend. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths was his first book translated into English. It is a semiautobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of World War II. The soldiers are told that they must go into battle and die for the honour of their country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive. Mizuki was a soldier himself (severely injured and lost an arm) and used his experiences to convey the war's devastating consequences and moral depravity.
Mizuki's list of accolades and achievements is long and detailed. In Japan, the life of Mizuki and his wife was made into a top-rated television drama that airs daily. Mizuki is the recipient of many awards, including the Best AlbumAward for his book NonNonBa (to be published in 2012 by D+Q) and the Heritage Essential Award for Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Special Award, the Kyokujitsu Sho Decoration, the Shiju Hosho Decoration, and the Kodansha Manga Award. His hometown of Sakaiminato honoured him with Shigeru Mizuki Road - a street decorated with bronze statues of his Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro characters - and the Shigeru Mizuki International Cultural Center.
About the AuthorBorn 8 March 1922, in Sakaiminato, Tottori, Shigeru Mizuki was a specialist in the stories of yokai and is considered a master of the genre. He was a member of the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology. He travelled to more than sixty countries worldwide to engage in fieldwork on the yokai and spirits of different cultures. He has been published in Japan, South Korea, France, Spain, Taiwan, and Italy. His award-winning works include Kitaro, Nonnonba, and Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths. Mizuki's four-part autobiography and historical portrait Showa: A History of Japan won an Eisner Award in 2015.
In "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths," manga artist and veteran Shigeru Mizuki brings the Pacific front of World War II to life with unflinching realism and a grotesque and sardonic humor.