Lecture: Ben Whaley, “Shōjo Manga and the Holocaust: Looking for Love in the Concentration Camps,” Kanagawa U (Minatomirai Campus) & Online, June 15, 17:15~

James Welker Discussion

Lecture Announcement:
Shōjo Manga and the Holocaust: Looking for Love in the Concentration Camps”

5:15–6:45 pm (JST), Thursday, June 15, 2023
Yoneda Yoshimori Memorial Hall (1F)
Kanagawa University—Minatomirai Campus
Minatomirai 4-5-3, Nishi-ku, Yokohama

Ben Whaley
Associate Professor of Japanese in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Calgary

Zoom participation: Pre-registration is not required. Please login with the Zoom Meeting ID: 936 6026 0615 and Passcode: KUMMC
In-person participation: Kanagawa students & staff do not need to pre-register. All others are requested to pre-register by June 12 by emailing your name & affiliation with the subject line “Pre-registration” in English or Japanese to ft101908um@kanagawa-u.ac.jp.

This talk investigates shōjo manga (girls’ comics) from the 1960s and 70s set at Auschwitz during the Nazi Holocaust. Why has the Holocaust figured prominently as an enduring theme in postwar manga? Moreover, what might these manga teach us about Japan’s own practices of wartime remembrance and memorialization? This talk begins with Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl (1947, 1952 Hikari honoka ni: Anne no nikki), which has profoundly resonated with Japanese readers. So much so that, by 1969, there were over ten separate prose, illustrated story, and manga versions of the diary actively serialized in girls’ magazines in Japan. Anne Frank’s legacy in Japanese visual culture has inspired a micro genre of fictional Holocaust-themed shōjo manga drawn by some of the country’s most renowned artists. Through introducing key works by Watanabe Masako, Satonaka Machiko, and Kimura Minori, among others, I investigate how these manga reimagine the plight of the eastern European Jewry as a search for true love, even in the most tragic of settings. In drawing these themes, I also discuss how these works exemplify shōjo manga discovering and, in some cases, pushing the limits of its own visual grammar to match the pathos of genocide.

This talk is organized by the International Japanese Studies Course in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies in the Department of Cross-Cultural and Japanese Studies at Kanagawa University, Minatomirai Campus, in Yokohama, Japan