Japanese Notebooks


Igort’s offbeat graphic memoir feels haphazard in its arrangement, but as “notebooks” of reminiscences of his years in Tokyo, and reflections on the artists, aesthetics and customs that stirred him as a mangaka in his early 30s, this works well as a surreal series of digressive flashbacks and associations. I really enjoyed the bits about his life in the Sendagi neighborhood of Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, in the 90s, since I was living just south of him in Bunkyo’s Sengoku area, where small printing factories used to churn out manga and all kinds of other material. I like the quirkiness of this book too, and it gave me plenty to ponder.