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Manga goes silver

Author: admin

For the ‘woke’ youth across the world, Japan is synonymous with comic-book art. Now, it’s time for silvers to catch up: traditional Japanese ‘Manga’ comics are now featuring elders as their protagonists. According to website japantimes.co.jp, a current favourite is Sanju Mariko, the story of an 80 year-old who embarks on a new journey away from her family. Deeply resonant, the tale addresses issues like loneliness, alienation, forgetfulness and dementia. Another popular comic is the heartfelt Oya-san to Boku (The landlady and me), based on the experiences of 41 year-old comedian Taro Yabe, who lives on the second floor of a house in Tokyo owned by a woman in her late 80s and the warm friendship they develop. Then, there’s Tasukeaitai: Rogo Hatan No Oya, Karoshi Line No Ko (A wish for mutual help: parents broken after retirement, offspring on the verge of death from overwork), which tells the story of a couple in their 70s who find themselves in a difficult situation, financially and emotionally, when the husband suffers a stroke. “Featuring the elderly as leading characters, rather than in supporting roles, has shed light on the details of what they worry about and struggle with,” Kyoko Tominaga, associate professor of sociology at Ritsumeikan University tells news agency KYO DO News, explaining the popularity of these comics. “I think it is the concreteness of this content that allows readers to empathise.”

Photo: Dinodia Photo Library
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
October 2018