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Gegege no Kitarō's Shigeru Mizuki Wins Asahi Prize

posted on 2009-01-01 12:31 EST
Kitarō enjoys film, TV resurgence; Mizuki also portrayed horrors of war

The Asahi Shimbun paper has announced on Thursday that Shigeru Mizuki, the creator of the Gegege no Kitarō supernatural horror manga, is one of its newest Asahi Prize recipients. Mizuki's most famous creation has recently enjoyed a new resurgence in popularity. In last year alone, Kitarō reincarnated itself as one live-action film sequel, two highly rated animated television series, and an animated film. As a veteran who lost his left arm during World War II, Mizuki has also drawn unflinching manga portrayals of the horrors of war and has criticized his country's conduct before and during the war. He held an art exhibition in Washington, D.C. last spring and launched a new manga called Tōno Monogatari (Tales of Tōno) in July.

The Asahi Prize honors outstanding contributions to culture and society at large. The three other winners announced on Thursday are non-fiction author Hisae Sawachi, theater producer and author Minoru Becchaku, and molecular cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi. Asahi Shimbun will award the prize's bronze statues and the accompanying 5-million-yen (about US$50,000) grants in a Tokyo ceremony on January 28. Asahi Shimbun also hosts the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Awards.


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