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Mother Collects Shonen Jump for 7 Years to Honor Son Who Died in Quake

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

About 350 volumes of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine cover a wall in a home in Natori, Miyagi. Yūko Tanno (name romanization not confirmed) is not necessarily a fan of shōnen manga herself, but her son Kōta was. Tanno lost her 13-year-old son in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster, which occurred on March 11, 2011. Every week for the seven years and three months since then, the 49-year-old mother has continued to buy Shonen Jump for her son.

The body of Kōta was found at the end of March 2011. Before his death, Kōta used his pocket money to buy Shonen Jump every week, and he read it in his room with friends. Tanno thought Kōta might be interested in the continuation of the stories.

Copies of the magazine were placed in the boy's coffin and in the household altar. After the disaster, previous issues of the magazine piled up inside the closet of Tanno's temporary housing as she bought each new issue. Before the earthquake and tsunami disaster, Tanno threw away some of Kōta's old manga. She wondered if her son actually wanted to reread the manga, so she could no longer throw them out.

Every Monday, if the new issue is sold out at a co-op store, Tanno goes to a convenience store or shopping center bookstore. The popular One Piece manga, which serializes in Shonen Jump, began before Kōta was born, but it continues even now. As a member of his school's volleyball team, Kōta may have had an interest in the magazine's Haikyu!! manga, which launched the year after the disaster.

Tanno's home was finally rebuilt at the end of last month, and a seven-mat tatami room on the second floor became Kōta's room. In arranging the magazines, Tanno discovered that three issues were missing, so she ordered the back-number issues.

The shelves in Kōta's room will be full very soon. This year, Kōta would have turned 20, which is the legal age of adulthood in Japan. Tanno is thinking of finishing the collection of Shonen Jump for her son this year.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Hideaki Ishibashi) via Yaraon!

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