No.78 [PAST] The 1964 Olympics were cracking

SUZUKI Shin’ichi was 31 years old at the time of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.   As a privileged witness to the Olympic frenzy 56 years ago, Suzuki Shin’ichi shares his memories. Waiting for the Tokyo Olympics reached fever pitch at the start of 1964 and didn’t let up until the end of the[...]

No.78 [DISCOVERY] The adventure of Yakyu Shonen

  Launched in 1947 by KATO Ken’ichi, Yakyu Shonen was the first magazine for young people dedicated to baseball.   Baseball plays a large role in manga but you have to go back in time to find out why. The history of sports manga officially started in the mid-60s after the Tokyo Olympic G[...]

No.78 [ENTHUSIASM] A good knock-on effect

Slam Dunk by INOUE Takehiko helped to promote basketball in Japan.   Already avid readers of manga about sport, the Japanese are just as keen to put on their sporting gear. in my former student days, I was crazy about football. I watched it on TV and played it almost every day with my friends i[...]

No.78 [TREND] Updating sports genres

Shakunetsu Kabadi by MUSASHINO Hajime is all about kabaddi, an Indian contact team sport. As time goes by and with a more diverse readership, writers are exploring new horizons and new disciplines. As explained in our introductory essay, Japan is a baseball-loving country. Baseball is not only the m[...]

No.78 [FOCUS] Sport and manga: a long love story

In Tokyo’s Suginami Animation Museum, you’ll find souvenirs of the Olympic Games with the series Atakku No. 1, adapted for television at the end of the 1960s. There are countless numbers of manga series devoted to sport. Zoom Japan has done some investigating. Japanese comics are famous, among o[...]

No.77 [DESTINY] In the footsteps of a tragic genius

The iron bridge (rikkyo) spanning the tracks of the Chuo Line, which Dazai Osamu liked to frequent, is still a favourite spot for local inhabitants. Dazai Osamu is one of the most celebrated writers in the country, whose life and death are closely connected to the famous railway. For many years the [...]

No.77 [FOCUS] Following the Chuo Line

With its characteristic orange-striped coaches, the line cuts through the capital’s centre in a westerly direction through areas that are full of interest. Crossing the centre of the capital in a westerly direction, this railway occupies a special place in the heart of Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolis [...]

No.77 [A MUST-SEE] Tokyo-Broadway

Something to suit all tastes and purses. A 5-minute train journey from Shinjuku, Nakano district has established itself as one of the major centres of Otakuism. If Akihabara is the official, attention-seeking side of Otaku Tokyo, Nakano is its opposite, both geographically and temperamentally, quiet[...]

No.77 [DISCOVERY] At the heart of pop culture

Mr KIZAWA runs Gojira-ya, a shop where fans of Godzilla and other mythical characters find what they are looking for. Travelling westwards on the Chuo Line, you’ll discover a very special and culturally rich place. The vast suburban area which lies west of Shinjuku has traditionally been home to a[...]

No.77 [ENCOUNTER] Suginami delights

Greg Mudarri passionately defends his adopted neighbourhood. In charge of promoting the district, Greg Mudarri defends its original character. The westbound Chuo Line trains travel through the Tama plain before crossing into the prefectures of Kanagawa and Yamanashi. However, you don’t have to go [...]