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Comic Showa History (コミック昭和史, Komikku Shōwa-shi) is a series of graphic novels by Shigeru Mizuki. It ran for eight volumes and was released from November 1988 to December 1989.

From November 12, 2013 to September 19, 2015, Drawn & Quarterly released a four volume English-language version of the series under the title Showa: A History of Japan.


Timeline by each book

Volume 1: Great Kanto Earthquake~Manchurian Incident

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1922 (Taishō 11) Born March 8th
1923 (Taishō 12) Great Kanto Earthquake Early childhood & school days
Learns about yōkai from NonNonBa
1926 (Showa Year 1) Death of Emperor Yoshihito. Showa era begins.
1927 (Showa 2) Showa Financial Crisis
1928 (Showa 3) Universal Suffrage is implemented.
March 15th Incident
1929 (Showa 4) Great Depression
1930 (Showa 5) Showa Depression.
London Naval Treaty
1931 (Showa 6) Manchurian Incident

Volume 2: Manchurian Incident~Sino-Japanese War

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1931 (Showa 6) Liutiaogou Incident Elementary School~Advanced Elementary High School
1932 (Showa 7) January 28th Incident
Manchukuo founded
May 15th Incident
1933 (Showa 8) Japan withdraws from the League of Nations.
Takigawa Incident
1935 (Showa 10) Emperor Organ Theory Rejection Incident
1936 (Showa 11) February 26th Incident
1937 (Showa 12) Marco Polo Bridge Incident Graduates advanced elementary high school, fired from first two jobs.
Enters and drops out of art school,
fails entrance exam for horticulture school.
1939 (Showa 14) Nomonhan Incident
Germany & Soviet Union invade Poland

Volume 3: Sino-Japanese War~Start of World War II

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1939 (Showa 14) World War II begins. Delivers newspapers while attending Industrial School.
1940 (Showa 15) Tripartite Pact
1941 (Showa 16) Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact
Hull Note presented
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Pacific War begins.
Enrolls in Night School.
1942 (Showa 17) Occupation of Rabaul, New Britain.
Battle of the Coral Sea
Receives his physical.
1943 (Showa 18) Receives draft papers.
Enlists in Tottori Regiment, sent to Bugle Corps.
Ordered to report to South Asia.

Volume 4: World War II, Part I

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1942 (Showa 17) Battle of Midway
Battle of the Solomons
Battle of Tassafaronga
1943 (Showa 18) Isoroku Yamamoto is KIA over Bougainville.
Militarization of schools and students.
US Army lands on New Britain
Shipped to New Britain.
1944 (Showa 19) Sent to front lines, platoon annihilated.
Mizuki is one of the survivors.

Volume 5: World War II, Part II

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1944 (Showa 19) Battle of Imphal
Japanese defeat in Battle of Saipan.
Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Survives and catches malaria.
Mizuki's troop is given Honorable Death order but fights guerrilla instead.
Loses left arm from enemy plane bombing while on bed-rest for malaria.
1945 (Showa 20) Battle of Iwo Jima
Bombing of Tokyo
Battle of Okinawa
Germany surrenders.

Volume 6: End of WWII~Korean War

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1945 (Showa 20) Bombing of Hiroshima
Bombing of Nagasaki
Jewel Voice Broadcast announces Japan's surrender.
GHQ begins welfare program.
Transferred to a field hospital.
Relationship with local Tolai people begins.
Wishes for local discharge, but is talked into returning home first.
1946 (Showa 21) Tokyo Trials
Constitution of Japan announced.
Sent home. Recieves operation on arm at Sagamihara Hospital.
Lives at hospital while awaiting discharge,
takes a disastrous trip to Tohoku to buy rice.
Enrolls in Musashino Art School.
Finds work at a fish market and as a pedicab driver.
1947 (Showa 22) Constitution of Japan goes into effect.
1949 (Showa 24) Shimoyama Incident, Mitaka Incident and Matsukawa Derailment all occur.
1950 (Showa 25) Korean War starts. Begins managing "Mizuki Road" apartment in Kobe.
One of his tenants introduces him to the Kamishibai industry.
1951 (Showa 26)
1957 (Showa 32) Popularity of kamishibai declines.
Moves to Tokyo to find work.

Volume 7: Making Peace~Reconstruction

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1951 (Showa 26) Treaty of San Francisco signed.
Japan/United States Security Treaty signed.
1955 (Showa 30) Reunification of Japanese Socialist Party.
Conservative Merger creates Liberal Democratic Party.
1957 (Showa 32) Draws Rocketman, rental manga debut.
Moves to Chofu.
1959 (Showa 34) Iwato Economic Boom lasts 3 years.
Prince Akihito marries Michiko Shoda.
Campaign against Japan/US Treaty.
1961 (Showa 36) Marriage. While struggling financially, birth of first daughter.
1964 (Showa 39) USA enters Vietnam War.
Tokyo Olympics commences.
Debut at Garo.
1965 (Showa 40) Izanagi Economic Boom begins. TV-kun wins the Kodansha Children's Manga Award.
GeGeGe no Kitarō debuts, work output increases.
1967 (Showa 42) While Japan prospers, pollution becomes a problem,
Anti-Pollution Act is introduced.
1968 (Showa 43) ¥300,000,000 Robbery
1969 (Showa 44) University of Tokyo protests
1970 (Showa 45) Visits his old South Asian stations with former superiors.
Goes to Rabaul, reunites with locals.

Volume 8: Economic Growth and Beyond

Year Major Events Mizuki's Life
1970 (Showa 45) Expo '70 is held.
Hijacking of Flight 351.
Mishima Incident
Workload increases.
Starts letting assistants write stories he outlines.
1971 (Showa 46) Yen grows in worth in floating exchange rate system.
1972 (Showa 47) Asamo-Sanso Incident
Okinawa Reversion Agreement
1973 (Showa 48) Oil Crisis sends prices up.
1976 (Showa 51) Lockheed Bribery Scandal
1979 (Showa 54) Second Oil Crisis
1980 (Showa 55) Metal Bat Murders Begins traveling the world.
Begins writing more yōkai manga.
Father dies.
Second wave of Kitarō manga.
1984 (Showa 59) Glico/Morinaga Case continues for the next year.
1985 (Showa 60) Japanese Flight 123 Disaster
1986 (Showa 61) Chernobyl Disaster
1987 (Showa 62) Korean Flight 858 Bombing
1988 (Showa 63) Recruit Scandal
1989 (Heisei Year 1) Death of Hirohito. Heisei era begins. Makes his own grave site for a local temple.
Showa: A History of Japan wins Kodansha Manga Award


  • Mizuki (Vol. 1~8)
  • Nezumi-Otoko (Vol. 1~8) - as Narrator and Nekoyama
  • NonNonBa (Vol. 1 & 2)
  • Father - Ryōichi (1~8)
  • Mother - Kotoe (1~8)
  • Older brother - Sōhei (1~6, 8)
  • Younger brother - Yukio (1~2, 6~8)
  • Grandfather - Tatsuji (1~3)
  • Cousin - Hikoichi (1~3)
  • Wife - Nunoe (7~8)
  • First daughter - Naoko (7~8)
  • Second daughter - Etsuko (8)
Military & South Asia
  • Akasaki (4)
  • Kobayashi (3~4)
  • Sakaita (4)
  • Major Naruse (4~5)
  • Commander Kodama (4~5)
  • Sargent Miya (5, 7~8)
  • Topetoro (6~8)
  • Epupe (6 & 8)
Friends & co-workers
  • Katsumaru Suzuki (6~7)
  • Kōji Kata (6~7)
  • Ikkaku Tanabe (7)
  • Shōichi Sakurai (7)
  • Katsuichi Nagai (6~7)
  • Yoshiharu Tsuge (7)
  • Ryōichi Ikegami (7)
  • Sanpei Shirato (7)
  • Toyokawa (7)
  • Suzuki (8)

Related works

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