George Akiyama

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George Akiyama
Yūji Akiyama

(1943-04-27) April 27, 1943 (age 76)
ResidenceTokyo, Japan
OccupationManga artist
Known forAshura (1970–1971)
Haguregumo (1973–2017)
Manga Chūgoku Nyūmon (2005)

George Akiyama (ジョージ秋山, Jōji Akiyama, born Yūji Akiyama (秋山 勇二), April 27, 1943 in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese manga artist known for dealing with controversial and incendiary topics in many of his works.[1][2] He was born the second boy of five siblings. He has an older brother and older sister and younger brother and younger sister. His father is a Korean and was an artificial flower craftsman.


Akiyama quit high school and moved to Tokyo to become a manga artist. After working briefly as a book wholesaler, he became an assistant for manga artist Kenji Morita.[3] He made his major debut in 1966 with the gag-manga Gaikotsu-kun, which was published in Bekkan Shōnen Magazine, and shocked readers in 1970 with Ashura, which contained numerous unsettling depictions of human life. The first chapter of Ashura contains a scene where a woman commits cannibalism to prevent herself from dying of starvation, and later attempts to eat her own child as well.[2] The August 2, 1970 edition of Weekly Shōnen Magazine, which first published this chapter, was banned in several regions as a result of this scene, propelling Akiyama to infamy within the manga industry. Akiyama continued his career with Kokuhaku (lit. "Confessions"), which began serialization in the 11th edition of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1971. This manga took on an unprecedented format where Akiyama would make a confession each week (for instance, in one chapter he confesses that he is a murderer), only to admit that his confession was a lie in the following week's chapter.[3] After repeating this for the duration of the manga, Akiyama suddenly announced his retirement, cutting off all of the serializations he held on various magazines to embark on a solo journey across Japan.

Akiyama came out of retirement only 3 months later with Bara no Sakamichi, which began serialization in the 34th edition of Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1971. He started his longest work, Haguregumo, on Big Comic Original, which won him the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1979.[4] The series has yet to conclude after over 30 years of serialization, and has spanned over 80 volumes since its inception in 1973. The series was also adapted into an anime movie by Toei Animation in 1982.

Hakuai no Hito and Sutegataki Hitobito, both serialized in the magazine Big Gold, marked Akiyama's transition towards employing more philosophical themes rather than the gag-based style he had used throughout his early career. Akiyama also participated in creating a manga version of the Bible, which was published by Gentosha in 2005. The same year, he also published An Introduction to China: A Study of Our Bothersome Neighbors (マンガ中国入門 やっかいな隣人の研究, Manga Chūgoku Nyūmon: Yakkai na Rinjin no Kenkyū), a highly controversial manga which depicted the Chinese as being obsessed with cannibalism and prostitution, and denied that the Rape of Nanking ever occurred.[1] The book went on to become a bestseller in Japan despite its incendiary content.

Notable works[edit]

Title Year Collected
Patman X (パットマンX, Pattoman X) 1967–1968 5 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Kodansha
Recipient of the Kodansha Jidō Manga Award.
Derorinman (デロリンマン) 1969–1970 2 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha
The volumes were titled Ganso Derorinman (元祖デロリンマン) because they were released after the 1975 remake.
Horafuki Dondon (ほらふきドンドン) 1969–1970 5 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Kodansha
Ashura (アシュラ) 1970–1971 3 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Kodansha
Zeni Geba (銭ゲバ) 1970–1971 5 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Sunday, Shogakukan
Kokuhaku (告白) 1971 1 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Sunday, Shogakukan
Bara no Sakamichi (ばらの坂道) 1971–1972 3 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha
The Moon (ザ・ムーン) 1972–1973 4 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Sunday, Shogakukan
Haguregumo (浮浪雲) 1973-2017 112 tankōbon, Big Comic Original, Shogakukan
Hana no Yotarō 1974–1979 15 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Champion
Derorinman 1975–1976 3 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Kodansha
Remake of the 1969 manga, which differs significantly from the original version.
Bonkura Dōshin 1976–1977 4 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Kodansha
Gyara 1979–1981 8 tankōbon, Shōnen King
Pink no Curtain 1980–1984 Part 1: 15 tankōbon, Part 2: 6 tankōbon, Weekly Manga Goraku
Chōjin Haruko 1982–1984 3 tankōbon, Weekly Morning
Kaijin Gonzui 1984 1 tankōbon, Weekly Shōnen Jump
Koiko no Mainichi 1985–1992 32 tankōbon, Weekly Manga Action
Kudoki-ya Joe 1986–1987 4 tankōbon, Big Comic Superior
Lovelin Monroe 1989–1993 13 tankōbon, Young Magazine
Onnagata Kisaburō 1993–2002 7 tankōbon, Big Comic Original Sōkan
Hakuai no Hito 1993–1996 8 tankōbon, Big Gold
Dobugero-sama 1995–1996 1 tankōbon, Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Sutegataki Hitobito 1996–1999 5 tankōbon, Big Gold
Ikinasai Kiki 2001–2002 4 tankōbon,
WHO are YOU 2002 1 tankōbon, Big Comic Original Sōkan
Author listed as Yūji Akiyama during serialization.
Manga Chūgoku Nyūmon: Yakkai na Rinjin no Kenkyū 2005 Published by Asukashinsha.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Norimitsu Onishi (November 19, 2005). "Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan". New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "L'autre Bande Dessinee - Ashura by George Akiyama". Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "George Akiyama". Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  4. ^ 小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2007.

External links[edit]