Today is the 88th birthday of 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki).
He is an anime artist that I like.
His most famous work is the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) anime series.
This series is about a group of 妖怪 (ghouls) led by Kitaro who protect humans from other, less-kind ghouls who want to hurt them.
It’s a fun series.
And Mr. Shigeru Mizuki, the artist, is a person with an interesting life story.
When he was a child he enjoyed drawing and listening to an old neighbor lady’s ghost stories.
And when he was a young man, both he and his brother were drafted by the Japanese Army to fight in World War 2.
The army sent him to help defend their base in New Guinea.
While he was there, he lost his left arm (the arm he used to draw his art with) in the Allied bombings.
Unbelievably, he taught himself to draw using his other hand.
While he was in the base hospital recovering from his injuries, he met and became close to some of the local tribes-people.
The chief of the tribe offered him some land and a position in their tribe if he married the chief’s daughter.
He decided that the offer sounded good and told an officer in the army that he wanted to stay on the island after being discharged.
The army officer told he that he could stay there…but he should first return to Japan to say goodbye to his parents. He decided to follow that advice.
But upon returning to Japan, he decided that he couldn’t go back to New Guinea because his parents were ill and had no one else to care for them since Mr. Mizuki’s brother was convicted of war crimes by the Allies and executed.
So he stayed in Japan and cared for his parents…and he became a popular anime artist.
I wrote another post about 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki) and the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) anime…click here.