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Homelessness and Artistry in Japan: Azuma Hideo's Disappearance Diary Manga
Azuma Hideo (1950- ) almost single-handedly reshaped manga in the 1970s, creating a subculture fad in comics and anime of the "Lolita complex," that both infantilized and objectified the female body with characters so cute-looking (inappropriately so)--a look now common in today's manga. Despite all his popularity, he struggled with alcoholism and abandoned his family to embrace a life of homelessness, "disappearing" from the manga scene. Later, he returned to draw Disappearance Diary (Shissō nikki, 2005), a chronicle of his life depicting himself and his addictions while living on the streets. In this talk, Dr. Holt will explore how Azuma frames his highs and lows as he describes his choice to live down and out. Disappearance Diary describes conditions of homelessness in Japan in contemporary times from a personal and newly awakened point of view.

Feb 8, 2022 06:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Jon Holt
Professor of Japanese @Portland State University
Dr. Holt received his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from the University of Washington. His research interests include modern Japanese poetry and children’s literature. He wrote his dissertation on the works of Miyazawa Kenji, arguably one of the most important figures in modern Japanese literature. At PSU, Dr. Holt teaches Japanese literature and film as well as upper-division Japanese language courses. His secondary research interests include manga and Japanese Buddhism.