comic art by Hinako Sugiura

Hinako Sugiura comes from a family of kimono makers in Tokyo, and she grew up with a rich sense of tradition. She studied visual communication and design in college. When she became increasingly fascinated by feudal Japan, she dropped out of school to study with Shisei Inagaki, the author of over a hundred books and perhaps the top consultant for theatrical and television films set in the Edo period. In 1980, she made her debut in the experimental manga magazine Garo with a short story titled 'Tsugen Muro no Ume' (Roughly "Trends and Artificial Beauty").

Sugiura is one of the few manga artists who occasionally draws in the ukyo-e style practiced by woodblock masters over a hundred years ago. Sometimes she dips so deep into tradition that the pages truly look like the old Kibyoshi ("yellow-cover" booklets produced by the thousands in the early 19th century. Most pages consisted of a drawing combined with a text in a block above it to form an illustrated, running story - like comics today), which were a powerful influence for her. She won the Japan Cartoonists' Association Award in 1984 and the Bunshun Manga Award in 1988. In 1993, she announced her retirement to spend more time writing and speaking about the Edo period, frequently as a talk-show celebrity, dressed in a kimono. She died of throat cancer in July 2005.

Series and books by Hinako Sugiura in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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