Born in Tottori, Jiro Taniguchi began to work as assistant of the mangaka Kyota Ishikawa. He made his manga debut in 1972 with 'Kareta Heya' ('The Barren Room'). Taniguchi draws inspiration from French and Belgian comics and his work varies from action to Buddhist-like meditation. Since 1976 he has worked on a regular base with scriptwriter Natsuo Sekikawa, starting with hard-boiled comics such as 'City Without Defense', 'The Wind of the West is White', 'Lindo 3' and 'Trouble Is My Business'.
Le Chien Blanco
From 1984 to 1991, Tanigushi and Sekikawa produced the series 'Botchan No Jidai' ('The Times of Botchan'), in which they profiled Japanese literary classics of the Meiji period (1864-1912). In 1985 they came with 'Kaikei Shuten' ('Hotel Harbour View'). In the early 1980s Taniguchi also collaborated with scriptwriter Carib Marley on stories about gangsters and detectives, including 'Knuckle Wars' (1982).
Among his 1990s serials are 'Aruku Hito' ('The Man Who Walks'), 'Kaze no Sho' ('Samurai Legend'), 'Keyaki no ki' and the biographical 'Chichi no koyomi' ('The Almanac of My Father'). His 1998 story 'Harukana Machi-e' earned him the Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival Award for Excellence in Japan, and the Alph Art for best scenario at the 2003 Angoulême comic festival in France. The story, published in English as 'A Distant Neighborhood', was adapted into a live action movie in 2010, and into a radio play in 2012.
He has furthermore provided the illustrations for 'Kodoku no Gourmet', cuisine seinen manga series written by Masayuki Kusumi in Weekly Spa! since 1994. His manga series 'Kamigami no Itadaki' ('The Summit of the Gods') was based on the 1998 novel by Baku Yumemakura, and was serialized in Business Jump from 2000 to 2003. Taniguchi has continued to create new serials, such as 'The Ice Wanderer', 'Sky Hawk', 'The Magic Mountain' and 'A Zoo in Winter', most of which have also appeared abroad.
He is one of the most popular manga artists in France, and he has thus also worked for the European market. He created the 'Icaro' series with the legendary Moebius in 2001, and worked with the French scriptwriter Jean-David Morvan on 'Mon Année', for Dargaud from 2010. A visit to the Louvre inspired him for the graphic novel 'Les Gardiens du Louvre', which was published by Futuropolis in 2014. Jiro Taniguchi passed away on 11 February 2017, at the age of 69.