No.79 [TRADITION] Nagaoka sets the world on fire

Whatever the season, Nagaoka’s firework displays are always very impressive.   The city’s firework display festival is one of the most popular in the Archipelago today. Japan has a long and rich history of matsuri or traditional festivals. They are held everywhere, from Hokkaido to Okinawa,[...]

No.79 [TOURISM] Tsubame-Sanjo wants to believe it

Tourists can leave Sanjo with playing cards to collect and trade, which honour local artisans.   Although it does not enjoy the same advantages as largest cities, this small town is not short of ideas to attract visitors. Though Tokyo and Japan’s larger cities appear not to be suffering the m[...]

No.79 [FOCUS] The hidden side of Japan

Niigata, the largest city in the prefecture of the same name, is a gateway to the Sea of Japan and its immense potential.   The hidden side of Japan As the granary of the Archipelago, Niigata prefecture has experienced great hardship, but still has lots to offer.   Avisitor from abroad tra[...]

No.79 [DAILY PAPER] Close to its readers

To make young people aware of the importance of reading newspapers, Niigata Nippo has opened a museum on the premises of their new printing works.   With a circulation of more than 400,000, the Niigata Nippo has become a benchmark for the Japanese press. Niigata may be one of Japan’s less fla[...]

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 [...]