Nazuna Saito(b. 1946). Born in Shizuoka prefecture, Nazuna worked as an illustrator after graduating from university and made her debut as a manga artist in 1986 with Dahlia in Big Comic (Shogakukan). Six collections of her work had been published in book form by 1998. However, she had to leave manga for ten years to care for her family. She started to write manga again in 2012 and won the Excellence Award in the Manga Division of Japan Media Arts Festival in 2019 with Yuugure-e (Seirinkogeisha). The present work Inko no Kami (God of the Parakeets) was first published in Hanashi no Tokushu (Nihonsha) in February 1992.
Saito’s works are, in a way, the most “progressed” gekiga at present in my opinion, both philosophically and technically. Just like the originators of gekiga like Masahiko Matsumoto, Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Yoshiharu Tsuge, Saito depicts the daily life of the common people. However, her stories always end with that rare but important thing in life – mutual understanding. In her works she shows love for humanity in a surprisingly modest way 🙂 Her story will be in Vérité 02 soon for the first time in overseas 😉
Manga Action is a fortnightly manga magazine for adults, first published as a weekly in 1967. Among the titles published in the magazine, some may be familiar to Indians: Lone Wolf & Cub, Lupin III, Old Boy and Crayon Shinchan. That’s right! Crayon Shinchan is a manga for adults. Indians are familiar with Crayon Shinchan from the anime based on the manga that airs on Hungama, a kids TV channel!! Another title published in the magazine is Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossomsby Fumio Kono, which was translated into Hindi as नीरव सन्ध्या का शहर साकुरा का देश and published by Vani Prakashan in 2015.
As Indian readers know, the practice of having pictures of models in sexy outfits on magazine covers is followed in India too.
In 2007, on my first visit to Japan where I was invited along with other filmmakers by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), a friend from Kolkata, Manojit Chattopadhyay, who runs Kriyetic Comics, had fixed a meeting with Tezuka Productions, and he kindly invited me to come along. I couldn’t make it to the meeting, but Manojit handed me these souvenirs given to us by Tezuka Productions. They are complete manga by Osamu Tezuka, each about 200 pages and a bit smaller than the size of a pack of cigarettes. The print is tiny but entirely readable, and attests to the high quality of Japanese printing technology. Quite possibly, the world’s tiniest manga!
On the left is Iron Roadand the one on the right contains three stories The Fossil Island, Robin the Fish Spirit, andThe Maiden of Tatsugafuchi. The Fossil Islandis a dream narrative where Osamu Tezuka, a poet and a newspaper reporter visit an island and dream various dreams upon coming across some strangely shaped rocks with cameo appearances by Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin!