Saturday, December 26, 2009

The History of Manga, Part 11

The Norakuro Manga Museum in the Morishita Cultural Center has a little brochure advertising the museum, and it includes a short chronology for "Norakuro's" creator, Suihou Tagawa. It's relevant here because Suiho was a contemporary of the early shojo magazine illustrators, and he published panel strips at the same time Katsudi did, but he took the route of early shonen magazines instead. I've mentioned Suihou several times, especially as the mentor for "Sazae-san's" Machiko Hasegawa. The below information is translated from the MCC pamphlet.

田河水泡 略年譜
Suihou Tagawa Short Chronology

1899 Feb. 10, born in Muramachi, in Honjo Ward, Tokyo as Nakataro Takamizawa. His parents produced knitted goods at home. The following year, his mother, Waki, died.

1905 After entering Tatekawa municipal school, he entered Rinkai Jinjo Elementary. Around that time, an older cousin, Osamu Takamizawa and others, would visit, carrying oil paint sets. Seeing this, Nakataro became interested in painting.

1922 Entered Nihon Bijutsu Gakuen (Japan Art School), where he received instruction from Hisui Sugiura and Kigen Nakagawa. After visiting the "Sanka Independent" exhibition, he started drawing abstract art.

(Hisui was a famous art deco illustrator, and Kigen made woodblock prints. Kigen studied briefly under Henri Matisse.)

1923 Joined the Avante-Garde group "Mavo" and changed his name to Michinao Takamizawa. Members included Tomoyoshi Murayama, Masamu Yanase and Sumitani.

("Mavo" was an Avante-Garde art movement in Japan from 1905 to 1931. "Sanka Independent" (i.e. - Third Department Independent) was an exhibit featuring Mavo's works.)

1926 Joined Kodansha Publishing as a rakugo writer (Japanese style comedy). Changed his name to 高沢路亭 (having trouble finding the correct reading for these kanji).

1928 His first manga, "Eyeball Chibi-chan", starts serialization in Shonen Kurabu (Boy's Club) magazine. He starts using the pen name Suiho Tagawa. In September, he marries Fujiko Komura (younger sister of literary critic Hideo Komura). She changes her name to Junko Takamizawa.


1931 "Norakuro Nitou Sotsu" (Norakuro, Private, 2nd Class ) started running in Shonen Kurabu. Initially, it was just planned to have a 1-year run, but its popularity exploded and it ran continuously for 11 years. It was also published as collected volumes.

1933 "Dekoboko Kurohei'e" started running as a separate supplement with the May issue of Fujin Kurabu (Women's Club).

1934 Introduced to Machiko Hasegawa (later, the creator of "Sazae-san"). She has a story serialized in Shoujo Kurabu (Girl's Club) as early as age 16.

(She was born in 1920, so the first story would have appeared in 1936. Sazae-san started in 1946. She moves out of Tokyo in 1944 to escape the bombing. Her apprenticeship with Suiho would have been between 1934 and 1941.)

1941 The Military government shuts down "Norakuro" and all other entertainment-only manga, ostensibly to conserve printing paper.

1958 "Norakuro's Autobiography" begins running in the October issue of Maru magazine. This starts a Norakuro revival boom.

(Shonen Kurabu, with an early Norakuro story.)

1967 Publication of "The Norakuro Complete Manga Works". Because the pre-war first volume published by Shonen Kurabu had been discontinued, the "Complete Works" did not include it. This collection triggered the second Norakuro boom.

1981 Publication of "Kokkei no Kouzou" ("The Structure of Humor") through Kodansha. This book includes explanations and exercises as an examination of the humorous.

1987 In November, awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Fourth Class.

1989, Feb. 10 A birthday party is held for "Suiho' 90's anniversary, and the 60th meeting of "Tadpole"". In August, the Tezuka World exhibition holds the "Norakuro and The Phoenix" display (at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi). On December 12, Suiho suffers from respiratory failure at the Kitasato University hospital, where he passes away at age 90.

This is an admittedly short list. The Japanese wiki page lists 9 of his students. You can see more examples of his artwork here.


FacePalm said...

It is interesting that they have not included the fact that Suiho did spend time in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if his year in the military inspired him to create Norakuro

TSOTE said...

Well, they were limited in space on the brochure, and may have just wanted to focus on the artistic side of his biography. There are definitely enough other references mentioning his military service so it's not really much of a secret. I haven't seen any mention of other artists from that time having been in the military, but you're probably right, the time spent should have influenced his choice to do Norakuro.

garagehero said...

What is the "tadpole"? I see a little tadpole inside the Norakuro books.

garagehero said...

What is the "tadpole"? I see a little tadpole inside the Norakuro books.