Shigeru Mizuki, Japanese comics artist and historian, is probably one of the best-known manga authors. A lot of his stuff has been translated into English, so when I started my timid forays into manga, his name instantly popped up. Mizuki’s area of interest (and expertise) was the Yōkai, or Japanese monsters, ghouls, goblins and other assorted bogeymen – right up my street, I thought!
Despite my interest in Japanese monsters, the first Mizuki book I picked up, NonNonBa, failed to capture my interest. Since then, I’ve tried looking through a few others I’d spot in bookstores… and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Mizuki is just not my thing, whatever other people may see in his work.
That being said, I still really enjoy some of his illustrations, especially if they’re in colour – and I love the way they give us a peek into the rich (and quite scary) world of Japanese folklore.
In the 1960s, Shigeru Mizuki released Yōkai Daizukai, an anatomically-oriented guide to traditional monsters from Japanese folklore. I don’t think it’s ever been released in English, but a French version came out in 2018 (and I fully intend to purchase it when I come across it).