[Manga/Occult] Mysteries in the life of Shigeru Mizuki: spiritual possession, the little people and drug trip

Shigeru Mizuki [水木しげる ] (1922 - 2015)

Shigeru Mizuki [水木しげる ] (1922 – 2015)

Shigeru Mizuki [水木しげる ] (1922 – 2015), the creator of the Gegege Kitaro manga series, was a lifelong student of the otherworld.

Although he is best known for his fictional works inspired by Japan’s lores of supernatural beings (called youkai), I have always thought that his magnum opus were his autobiographical accounts in manga format, namely:

  • Nononba [のんのんばあとオレ] (1977)
  • Showa: A History of Japan [コミック昭和史] (1998-1989)
  • Boku no Isshou wa Gegege no Rakuen da [ボクの一生はゲゲゲの楽園だ] (2001)

These are memoirs of his life – drawn from memories happy and tragic from a childhood during the Great Depression surrounded by the mysteries of the Tottori countryside, early adulthood as a lowly foot soldier in a brutal war which left him with several near-death experiences and an amputated arm, his subsequent years as a struggling manga artist, and finally his prosperous and mature years in which he was free to explore the supernatural side of the world which had always fascinated him. With nostalgia and poignancy, he depicted his lively, lovable and oddball family and friends. Without illusions, he also painted the terrible events in history that claimed the best of his youthful years. Interestingly, he also spoke with frankness about his encounters with inexplicable mysteries.

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