Shigeru Mizuki’s has left a remarkable influence on the manga industry – one that many Western fans may not realize. Mizuki is most know for creating GeGeGe no Kitaro, and rekindling Japan’s interest in yokai.
Mizuki’s influence came from his WWII experience. He was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army and was stationed in Papua New Guinea. During his tour, he would contract malaria and lose his left arm during an Allied air raid. To top things off, Mizuki was the sole survivor of his outfit.
Mizuki based his yokai around the concept of peace of pacifism – one of the key elements of GeGeGe no Kitaro is that they can only be seen during times of peace. Yokai were also important since they are free of nationality and ethnicity since Mizuki viewed peace as one of the most human ideals. [All this and more are in Mizuki’s autobiography Showa: A History of Japan.]
Shigeru Mizuki may have passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, but he continues to leave a legacy of peace and happiness. The following seven maxims about finding happiness are from Happiness Theory of Mizuki-san.
1Don’t aim for success, glory, or victory.
2Keep doing the things you can’t help doing.
3Don’t compare yourself to others, and you should persistently explore the things you enjoy.
4Believe in the power of love.
5Talent and salaries are separate, and tremendous efforts can let a person down as well as impart knowledge.
6Don’t get lazy.
7Believe in the world you cannot see.
Do you agree with Shigeru Mizuki’s maxims?