Jose Rizal immortalized in Japanese comic book

A Davao-based company will publish online a manga about the life of Jose Rizal, the first time a Japanese comic book paid homage to a Filipino national hero.

The manga, simply titled Jose Rizal, will be launched on Tuesday, June 19, the national hero’s birthday.

In an interview, Ichido Miyake, CEO of Creative Connections & Commons Inc., said the comic will run for 10 issues, each with 10 pages for a total of 100 pages, narrating the life story and legacy of Rizal in three chapters.

The book will be released for free every Tuesday for 10 weeks.

The first volume, “Chapter 1: Unreasonable Life of Filipinos under Spanish Rule,” is composed of three parts and set for release on June 19 and 26, and July 3.

The three-part second volume, “Chapter 2: The Social Reform Born from the Novel,” follows after. The last volume, “Chapter 3: Rizal’s Legacy,” will be released in four parts in August.

The manga will be released online in Nihonggo and English via www.manga.club, as well as in Nihonggo via Sukima at www.sukima.me. There are also plans to release the manga in Filipino.

The manga features art by Ryo Konno, with the story written by Takahiro Matsui.

Konno is an award-winning manga producer who received the highest acclaimed “Spirits Award” in the 265th Spirit Awards in 2013. Among his most praised works include the “Mosh Pit,” the manga about rock music.

The 43-year-old Aichi Prefecture-born writer Matsui has developed a deep interest in Southeast Asia as he was involved in Japanese language education in various Asian countries, including Philippines, from 2003 to 2014.

In a statement, Torico Company representative Takuro Ando said Jose Rizal was chosen as a subject of this manga after officials became curious why a bronze bust of the Filipino hero was located at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda City, Tokyo.

The bronze bust was in honor to the Filipino hero who stayed in a hotel just within the vicinity of the park before he headed to Europe.

“I discovered that he is extremely popular that he is an essential subject from elementary through high school in the Philippines, and that he is someone who had made an impact in many countries in the world,” Ando said.

“Japan, too, was affected by the genius of Rizal, who had changed his country not through violence, but through his knowledge and hard work. More than anything, I believe that he would be a good subject to let Filipinos and people all over the world see the appeal of manga and thus had his story told in manga form,” Ando added.

Ando decided to research on Rizal, starting with asking the Creative Connections & Commons Inc., a Philippine-based company connected with Torico, for more details about his life and the impact that he had not only in the Philippines but around the world.

Rizal, a Japanese descendant, briefly visited Japan during his travels in the springtime of 1888. He stayed in Yokohama and Tokyo for a month and a half.

There, he fell in love with a Japanese woman named Seiko Usui.

Posted in Latest News