No.74 [FOCUS] A day in Katsushika…

“Beware Danger” is written on this sign targeted at the youngest inhabitants of this district where water is omnipresent. The last truly working-class district in the capital has partly maintained its immediate post-war atmosphere.   Tokyo is moving faster and faster towards the future, and[...]

No.74 [MONUMENT] Tora-san, a Japanese hero

With its 50th film about to appear, Otoko wa tsurai yo is the longest series in cinema history. This mythical character of Japanese cinema inextricably linked to the district of Shibamata enjoys cult status.   I can’t believe my Japanese wife has never been to shibamata. I mean, she is old en[...]

No.74 [POP CULTURE] Ryo-san, olive and all the rest

Ryo-san in the foreground with his two sidekicks, heroes of the series Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen Mae Hashutsujo (KochiKame). Katsushika has inspired numerous manga authors, including the celebrated AKIMOTO Osamu and TAKAHASHI Yoichi.   In many ways, Katsushika has a strong connection w[...]

No.74 [DESTINY] Tsuge Tadao, stories from life

Tadao was very inspired by the red-light district of Tateishi. An extract from Garo no. 58, April 1969. In his work, the mangaka has often depicted working-class districts like Tateishi, where he has lived for a long time.   Tsuge Tadao is the stuff of legend. until quite recently the veteran c[...]

No.74 [PROMENADE] Encountering Tateishi

A traditional brush factory. Much of the district’s architecture from the 1950s and 60s has been preserved, even though it risks disappearing soon.   Katsushika is a multi-faceted area, and each one of its districts attracts a different kind of person: nature lovers stroll around Mizumoto Par[...]

No73 [FUCUS] Senior consumers and new economic trends

Ginza district, Tokyo.   The ageing of the Japanese population affects the way it behaves. japan’s rapidly changing demographic structure presents a few interesting challenges that have to be faced as soon as possible. Even from the perspective of consumer behaviour, the current and, in the f[...]

No73 [TREND] Old people, new stories

Cyborg Jiichan G published in 1989 by ObaTa Takeshi under the pseudonym KOBATAKE Ken.   For some time now, manga stories about elderly people have been very successful. comics may be still be considered a young art form for young readers, especially in the West, but a recent trend in Japan show[...]

No73 [TESTIMONY] New towns and old people

Symbols of Japan’s huge growth during the 1960s and ‘70s, danchi are occupied nowadays by elderly people who inspire Saito Nazuna’s work.   72-year-old mangaka Saito Nazuna has chosen to depict the bleak daily life of elderly people in her neighbourhood. on a sunny Friday afternoon, the d[...]

No.72 [FOCUS] Being Japanese in the 21st century

Omotesando district, Tokyo.   From the very beginning, Japan and its inhabitants have inspired questions and preconceived ideas. As soon as I saw Japan, I loved it. and yet!…” These are the words with which the journalist Ludovic Naudeau opens his book Le Japon Moderne (Modern Japan), publi[...]

No.72 [EXPERIENCE] Blending into the landscape

YAZAWA Yutaka’s book was published in U.K. (White Lion Publishing, £20).   After a long period abroad, YAZAWA Yutaka has had to reacquaint himself with Japan. He shares his experience with us. YAZAWA Yutaka is a British-educated Japanese lawyer who last year published his first book, How to [...]