Monday, April 13, 2015

Tezuka's War-Themed Works Go on Display in Hyogo

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Hyogo is offering a new exhibition featuring the legendary mangaka's works about war. Tezuka lived through the World War II as a teen and according to a series of lectures, he was moved to a munitions factory in Osaka during wartime. The factory was hit by U.S. bombings in 1945, but Tezuka was able to escape unharmed.
He would later see the Japanese surrender and noted witnessing a chandelier light-up in the Hankyu department store after the country restored power. He was 16-years-old.
Tezuka later penned A Message to Adolf, one of 10 works on display in the "Adolf ni Tsugu—Boku wa Senso no Kataribe ni Naritai" (Message to Adolf—I Want to Become a Wartime Storyteller) exhibit.
Message to Adolf follows three Adolfs in the 1930s — one all too well-known in history, and two others whose fate were intertwined with the more famous Adolf. Reporter Toge Sohei goes to Germany for the Berlin Olympic Games, but discovers that someone has killed his brother there. Sohei learns that his brother was killed because he sent a document with a secret about Adolf Hitler. Back in Japan, Wolfgang Kauffmann of Kobe's German Consulate is searching for the document. Kauffmann's son Adolf wants to become a hard-line supporter of Hitler. However, Adolf Kauffmann's best friend, a Jewish-German boy named Adolf Kamil, is disgusted by Nazi Germany's vitriol against people of his faith.

128 manga strips are shown in the exhibition that takes visitors through the story with historical commentary. The second section spans nine more works with 62 manga strips, including Kami no Toride, Tezuka's autobiographical account of the horrors he experienced during the U.S. air raids on Osaka. Other displayed works are Kanon and Tsuirakuki.

The works will be on display until June 29.

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