miniature manga

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 Road and the one on the right contains three stories The Fossil Island, Robin the Fish Spirit, and The Maiden of TatsugafuchiThe Fossil Island is 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!

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First manga translated into Hindi

Chidaruma Kempo (चिदारूमा केम्पो) by the amazing manga artist Hiroshi Hirata is the first Japanese manga to be translated into Hindi in 2005, thanks to the efforts of another manga artist Yukichi Yamamatsu. Yukichi’s quixotic mission to bring manga to India is documented in his manga travelogue Stupid Guy Goes to India. Both Hirata and Yamamatsu were part of the gekiga movement in Japanese comics in the 60s and 70s.

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Another trivia- Hiroshi Hirata also draw the Japanese calligraphic logo of Akira (dir. Katsuhiro Otomo), the anime masterpiece.

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A short profile on Hiroshi Hirata at work in his studio:

Here is a masterclass by Hiroshi Hirata, filmed at the Salon del Manga.