Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Daiba, Intro and Page 1
I started reading Yoshiharu Tsuge's works in part because of my interest in tracking down one book each from the people that knew Tezuka back when he lived in Tokiwa Manor just outside of Ikebukuro, and because of my research for the History of Manga series in my other blog (Three Steps Over Japan). Tsuge was listed in the Japanese wiki as one of the people that visited Tokiwa, but he wasn't part of the Heroes of Tokiwa Sou exhibit held recently. So, he was on my list of "manga artists of interest", but not very far up. Then, I started running into various mentions of manga, recently translated into English, that had run in Garo magazine back in the '60s and '70s, and Tsuge's name kept turning up as having been a significant contributor to Garo, and to the gekiga (realism) movement in manga at the time.
To start out, I just picked up the first volume of his early works anthology, which wasn't very impressive. As an artist, Tsuge had been fairly young and naive, and his first couple years' of output were crudely drawn and run of the mill. But, he'd made his name in gekiga with one specific short story - Neji-Shiki (Screw Style), which had been turned into a successful live action horror movie, known in English as "Screwed". Curious as to how he went from naive to twisted and bitter, I then picked up the 2004 edition of the Neji-Shiki short-stories collection. And yes indeed, he'd made some progress in the 13 years from his debut as a yonkoma (4-panel) gag artist to his appearance in Garo around 1965.
However, the title short story doesn't jive with the description of Screwed. I'm thinking there's a big "based on the original idea by" buried in the movie trailer somewhere. Anyway, as I was going through the book, I was half-searching for a story to run through Nihon-go Hunter, and "Daiba Electroplating Company" caught my interest. It's fairly crude, taste-wise, and does have some "adult" themes, but I found it challenging to translate. Be warned, you may not like this one.
"Daiba" came out in April, 1973. And it's my next project for Nihon-go Hunter. I'll start out by including the first page here.
This is the text for page 1.
Daiba Electroplating Company
"Daiba" could be treated as "Big Place", or "big company", but I'm going to use it as a Japanese company name, which is what I expect was the original intent. On page two, it's given just as "大場鍍金", (Daiba Plating).