posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
103-year-old government institution honors manga creators for the 1st time this year
The Japan Art Academy nominated manga artists Tetsuya Chiba and Yoshiharu Tsuge among its new members for this year. With this selection process, the academy recognizes these two creators as significant contributors to Japanese art.
The 103-year-old institution operates under the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, and honors Japanese artists who excel in their respective fields every year by nominating members. This is the first year that the academy is nominating creators from the fields of photography/video, design, manga, and film. The academy members become part-time civil servants with an annual stipend of 2.5 million yen (about US$22,000).
Chiba debuted as a manga creator in 1956. He is perhaps best known for his Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow’s Joe) boxing manga, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and has remained a mainstay in Japanese popular culture for decades. The manga has inspired two television anime in 1970 and 1980, as well as two anime films in 1980 and 1981. Most recently, the manga’s story was re-imagined in a new sci-fi setting with new characters in 2018’s Megalobox anime, which credits the original manga as its origin. The sequel series for Megalobox, Megalobox 2: Nomad, premiered in April 2021.
Tsuge is a pioneer of gekiga (“dramatic pictures”) comics, a genre named by Yoshihiro Tatsumi in 1957 to describe an alternative style of manga that stresses realism and is aimed at adults. He is perhaps best known for his 1968 manga Neji-Shiki (“Screw-Style“), a surreal story about a man wandering a desolate, post-war Japan.
Image via Chiba Pro