Showa: A History of Japan

Showa: A History of Japan, known in Japan as Comic Showa-shi (Japanese: コミック昭和史, Hepburn: Komikku Shōwa-shi, literally "A Comics History of the Showa Era"), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki. A semi autobiographical work, this manga describes the author's experiences growing up during the Shōwa period. The author is a veteran of the Japanese army, but his series is filled with critical views of Japanese and American militarism.[1]

Showa: A History of Japan
Showa A History of Japan.jpg
Cover of the first publication
(Komikku Shōwa-shi)
Written byShigeru Mizuki
Published byKodansha
English publisher
Original run19881989


The manga was originally released by Kodansha as Shōwa-shi: Comic (昭和史: コミック, Shōwa-shi: Komikku) between November 1988 and December 1989.[2][3] The manga was republished as Comic Showa-shi by Kodansha from August 1, to November 4, 1994,[4][5] and a box with all the eight volumes was released on December 14, 1994.[6] An adaptation titled Kamishibai Shōwa-shi (紙芝居昭和史, lit. "A Kamishibai Story of the Showa Era") was written by Kōji Kata and published on August 19, 2004 by Iwanami Shoten.[7]

In February 2013, Drawn & Quarterly announced it would publish the manga under the title Showa: A History of Japan.[8] The company released Showa 1926-1939 in October 2013, Showa 1939-1944 in May 2014, Showa 1944-1953 in November 2014, and Showa 1953-1989 in September 2015.[9]


It received the 1989 Kodansha Manga Award for the general category.[10] In 2014 and 2016, respectively, the first edition and the fourth edition of Showa published by Drawn & Quarterly were nominated by the Harvey Awards in the category "Best American Edition of Foreign Material".[11][12] It was also nominated at the Eisner Award in the category "Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia" in 2014 for Showa 1926-1939,[13] and it won it in 2015 and 2016 for Showa 1939-1944 and Showa 1953-1989 respectively.[14][15]

Comics critic Paul Gravett elected Showa: A History of Japan the third best manga published in North America in 2014, asking "What a better way to tell an epic modern history lesson than in these multi-layered, accessible manga?"[16]


  1. ^ Mizuki, Shigeru (November 2013). Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan. Mizuki Publishers. ISBN 9781770461352. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2015.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ 昭和史 : コミック 第1巻 (関東大震災~満州事変) (in Japanese). National Diet Library. 1988. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  3. ^ 昭和史 : コミック 第8巻 (高度成長以降) (in Japanese). National Diet Library. 1989. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. ^ コミック昭和史(1)関東大震災~満州事変 (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  5. ^ コミック昭和史(8)高度成長以降 (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  6. ^ コミック昭和史 全8巻セット (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  7. ^ 過去の出版物 平成16(2004)年 (in Japanese). Mizuki Production. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Drawn & Quarterly Adds Shigeru Mizuki's Showa Manga". Anime News Network. February 4, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Products by Shigeru Mizuki". Drawn & Quarterly. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
  11. ^ "The 2014 Harvey Award Nominations Are Revealed". IGN. Ziff Davis Media. July 16, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "One-Punch Man, Showa: A History of Japan Nominated for Harvey Awards". Anime News Network. July 6, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Suehiro Maruo's The Strange Tale of Panorama Island Manga Nominated for Eisner Award". Anime News Network. April 15, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  14. ^ "Shigeru Mizuki's Showa Manga Wins Eisner Award". Anime News Network. July 11, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Shigeru Mizuki's Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan Wins Eisner Award". Anime News Network. July 23, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  16. ^ Gravett, Paul (December 28, 2014). "PG Tips No.41: My Best Comics & Manga of 2014: Year in Review". Retrieved December 5, 2015.

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