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The Four Immigrants Manga : A Japanese Experience in San Francisco,… (1998)

by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1094186,461 (3.86)3
A "documentary comic book" from 1931, depicting the true adventures of four young Japanese men in America.



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This year, 2011, marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Four Immigrants Manga, the story of Henry (born Yoshikata) Kimaya and his four young-ish fellow Japanese who come to America around 1904. Henry's dream is to pursue art, and this book -- truly ground-breaking for its time -- is a 52-chapter autobiography in which he experiences the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and the start of prohibition, and a whole lot in between. The notion of an autobiographical comic, even one intended to be collected as a standalone volume, is nothing particularly special 100 years or so after Kiyama unceremoniously first stepped foot in America (he's confined for some time, as a new immigrant, and tries to convince himself that he's being looked after because Americans are so darn caring), but it was truly groundbreaking for its day. It's also pretty darn funny.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
This collection of stories and interactions between four Japanese immigrant friends, based on Kiyama's and his friends' experiences living in San Francisco, is of great historical interest and value. Written both in English and Japanese, the complexity of the original work is admirably preserved by the translator, with a collection of useful notes and essays. ( )
  milkyfangs | Nov 23, 2009 |
Interesting early graphic novel recounting the author's experiences as an immigrant in San Francisco of the early 1900s. Told in a series of short stories. By today's standards, much of the humor is politically incorrect, but this work serves as an important testament to the life of the Japanese-American student-worker. Really amazing that someone was using sequential art as a vehicle for his memoir more than 70 years ago.
  melissarecords | Jul 26, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Yoshitaka Kiyamaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schodt, Frederik L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A "documentary comic book" from 1931, depicting the true adventures of four young Japanese men in America.

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