Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The History of Manga, Part 6

("Falling Rain" by Sudou Shigeru, for Shojo Sekai, from Gekkan Bijutsu, used for review purposes only.)

Sudou Shigeru (1898-1946). Hardly an auspicious way to start a blog entry, on someone that's got nothing in English and little in Japanese. But, that seems to be the trend with these people. Born Genzu Sudou (須藤源重). Began studying the nihonga Japanese style of painting in 1916. Appeared in Shojo Kurabu, Shojo no Tomo and Reijo Kai. He is known for his illustrations of Yaso Saijou's "Tenshi no Tsubasa" ("Angel's Wings") poem, and Nobuko Yoshiya's "Hana Monogatari" ("Flower Story") novel. Pictured here are "Falling Rain", published in Shojo Sekai in 1931, and "Harvest Moon", Shojo Kurabu, 1928.

("Harvest Moon" by Sudou Shigeru, for Shojo Kurabu, from Gekkan Bijutsu, used for review purposes only.)

Iwata Sentarou (1901-1974) is also underrepresented on the net. An article on Tatsumi Shimura hints that Iwata created the illustrations for the serialization of "Tange Sazen". The wiki article on "Tange Sazen" says that it's the name of a character in a novel by Fubo Hayashi, which had been serialized in Mainichi Shimbun from 1927 to 1928. The Gekkan Bijutsu only mentions the Osaka Asahi Shimbun illustration work without giving any details (like the name or print dates). GB also states that Iwata started working for Kodansha Magazine in 1920. Pictured here is "Niizuma Kagami no Bundai" ("Age of the New Bride's Mirror"), published in Shufu no Tomo (Housewife's Friend), 1938.

("Age of the New Bride's Mirror" by Iwata Sentarou, for Shufu no Tomo, from Gekkan Bijutsu, used for review purposes only.)

One of Iwata's illustrations can be found here (description in Japanese only).

Which now brings us up to Katsudi Matsumoto (1904-1986). I've already written about Katsudi's Gallery in Setagawa Ward, and I mentioned his shojo magazine works in part 2 of this series. Of the group of artists so far, Katsudi seems to have been the only one to really play with panel comic strips. The others are only mentioned in conjunction with shojo magazine cover art and illustrations to accompany someone else's text (although, as mentioned in part 4, Takeo Takei and Yumeji Takehisa did "caricature" work in Kodomo Puck, which started publication in 1924). He's also one of the most extensively-documented artists in wikipedia. One anecdote missing from the wiki entry, though, was that when he was young, his parents became unemployed. To help support the family, he started working as a newspaper delivery boy around age 13. Because there was a lot of idle time when he waited for the papers to be dropped off at the distribution point, Katsudi would doodle on scraps of paper. An editor happened to see his work and talked Katsudi into moving into the illustration arm of the paper. Later, he realized that he needed to learn the basics and enrolled in art school (from a conversation with Katsudi's son). The wiki entry states that Kouji Fukiya (part 4) encouraged Katsudi to work in shojo magazines, and that Kouji later married Katsudi's younger sister, Ryoko.

("Sasayaki no Komichi" by Katsudi Matsumoto, for Shojo no Tomo, from Gekkan Bijutsu, used for review purposes only.)

According to the wiki entry, Katsudi's first steady illustration work came from Shojo Gaho, where he submitted illustrations from 1928 to 1938. "Poku-chan", his first attempt at panel manga, ran off-and-on in Shojo Gaho from 1930 to 1934. The 16-page "The Mysterious Clover" was printed as a pamphlet included with the April, 1934, issue of Shojo no Tomo. His most famous manga is the yonkoma strip "Kurukuru Kurumi-chan", in Shojo no Tomo from 1938-1940. After the war, it resurfaced as "Kurumi-chan", from 1949 to 1954 in Shojo magazine. "The Mysterious Clover" wasn't really recognized by Japanese manga scholars until it appeared in an exhibit at the Yayoi-Yumeji gallery in 2006. As mentioned in the wiki article, "Clover" was remarkable at the time for its use of varied panel sizes and changing viewpoints, predating Tezuka by 13 years.

("Nani Kangeteru ka?" by Katsudi Matsumoto, from Gekkan Bijutsu, used for review purposes only.)

The pictures here are "Sasayaki Nokomichi" (Shojo no Tomo, 1934) and "Nani Kangeteru ka?" ("What are you thinking about?", 1935). The second picture features Kurumi-chan.

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