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Moto Hagio – What is the “Year 24 Group”?

In this video we present today we have famous mangaka Moto Hagio talking about the “Year 24 Group”. What was it about and why was it called this way? If you check the entry on Wikipedia you’ll see the term doesn’t refer to a closed group of artists; it is broader than that and defines a generation of women born around 1949 (Shōwa 24, according to Japanese nomenclature) who revolutionized the world of manga for girls, –shōjo manga–, creating new stories that massively seduced both audience and critics.

Nowadays, nearly all shōjo manga are created by women, but back in the ’50s, during the first boom of the manga industry, there were almost no female mangaka. Shōjo manga was was created mainly by men. Girls of the “Year 24 Group” belong to the first generation who grew up reading manga, hence they are the first ones who really *wished* to become mangaka.

In this video we’ll hear a lot of names, most of them unknown to Westerners (some are not widely known in Japan either). Besides, a lot of them are not normally mentioned when the “Year 24 Group” topic is raised, so I decided to write down a little “guide” so you can understand what Hagio says better. Since it’s a quite short video, maybe it’s better to watch it once, then read this guide carefully and finally watch it again to assimilate everything.

By the way, there are some issues with sound I’d like to apologize for. I haven’t been able to remove the annoying noise coming from the AC in the background. Excuse me, I’m still amateur… ^_^

(Also on Vimeo)

Profiles of mentioned mangaka:

  • Masako Watanabe わたなべまさこ (April 14th, 1929). She made her debut in 1952 with Suama-chan –a piece of work that was published directly as a book– and started to have her works published in magazines in 1957. She was one of the first female mangaka. One of her most important works is Glass no shiro (Glass Castle), for which she received the Shōgakukan award. In the 70’s she started creating manga for adult women (ladies comics).
  • Miyako Maki 牧美也子 (July 29th, 1935). She made her debut in 1957 with Hahakoi Waltz (Mother’s love waltz) and she soon stood out as a shōjo manga artist, especially with works such as Maki no kuchibue (Maki’s whistle). In the 70’s she moved to ladies comics, becoming a pioneer of this genre, and created masterpieces such as Genji Monogatari (The story of Genji) and Seiza no Onna (Constellations’ women). She’s married to Leiji Matsumoto, and they have created several works together. Maki was also interviewed for Masters of Manga.
  • Hideko Mizuno 水野英子 (October 29th, 1939). She made her debut in 1956 after thanks to Akira Maruyama, editor of Shōjo Club (Kōdansha) magazine. She moved to the famous apartments Tokiwa-sō for a few months, and worked along with Shōtarō Ishinomori and Fujio Akatsuka, creating some short stories under the collective penname “U-MIA”. Her most well-known works are Hoshi no tategoto (Stars’ harp), Fire!, Honey honey no sutekina bōken (Honey Honey’s wonderful adventures) and Shiroi Troika (White Troika), among others. Mizuno was also interviewed for Masters of Manga.
  • Machiko Satonaka 里中満知子 (January 24th, 1948). She made her debut in 1964 after winning Kōdansha New Faces Award with Pia no shōzō (Pia’s portrait). Her most important works are Ashita kagayaku (Shining Tomorrow) and Hime ga iku (There goes the Princess), for which she won the 5th Kodansha Award in children’s manga category. She was one of the pioneers if ladies comics.
  • Yasuko Aoike 青池保子 (July 24th, 1948). She made her debut in 1963 in the winter special issue of Ribbon (Shūeisha) magazine and soon started working for Shōjo Friend on a regular basis. Her most important work is Eroica yori ai o komete (From Eroica with love), which started back in 1976 and is still being published nowadays, with some breaks here and there. Among her works stands out Alcázar, historic story with Spanish background.
  • Sachiko Asuka 飛鳥幸子 (February 5th, 1949). After winning Kōdansha New Faces Special Award she moved to Tokyo for her professional debut. She was specialized in romantic comedies, but also created stories about spies and sci-fi adventures. Most of her works are short stories.
  • Yōko Tadatsu 忠津陽子 (January 25th, 1949). She made her debut in 1967 after winning Bessatsu Margaret magazine Manga School Award with Natsu no hi no Cola (Summer day’s Cola). Her main works are Okane tamemasu (Saving money), Bijin wa ikaga? (How about a beautiful girl?) and Kekkon no jōken (Wedding conditions), among others.
  • Suzue Miuchi 美内すずえ (February 20th, 1951). She made her debut in 1967 in Bessatsu Margaret magazine, and in 1976 started her most well-known work by far, Glass no Kamen (Glass Mask), which is still being published on a non-regular basis in Hana to Yume magazine and has been adapted to anime, theatre and TV show.
  • Yoshiko Nishitani 西谷祥子 (October 2nd, 1943). She made her debut in 1961 in Shōjo Club magazine and soon moved to Margaret, where she released works such as Mary Lou and Lemon to Sakuranbo (Lemon and cherry), that gained audience favor. After briefly working on ladies comics, she quit being a mangaka when she married.

4 comments to Moto Hagio – What is the “Year 24 Group”?

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