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Yakuza Moon: True Story of a Gangster's Daughter (The Manga Edition) Paperback – Illustrated, 19 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd; New edition (19 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770031467
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770031464
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1.3 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 916,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sean Michael Wilson is a comic book writer from Scotland, who now lives in Japan. He has had more than a dozen books published with a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers. Although also writing 'western' style graphic novels, such as adaptations of classical novels, he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga style books. He is currently the only British creator writing books for big Japanese publisher Kodansha. He is also the editor of the critically acclaimed collection 'AX:alternative manga' (one of Publishers Weekly's 'Best ten books of 2010' and nominated for a Harvey Award) and writer of the Stan Lee Award nominated adaptation of 'Wuthering Heights'. He has given talks on Gekiga style manga and AX in the USA, UK and Japan, to try to increase knowledge of mature, literary style manga. He has received several grants from both the English arts council and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in support of his publications. In general, Wilson has attempted to do comic books that are different from the normal superhero/fantasy brands, working with a variety of 'non-comic book' organisations in the process. His book with War on Want, 'Iraq:Operation Corporate Takeover' was reported on by a variety of mainstream agencies - such as Reuters, CCTV in China and several Middle Eastern magazines. His main influences remain British and American creators - such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell and Harvey Pekar.

http://seanmichaelwilson.weebly.com
http://sean-michael-wilson.blogspot.com/

Product Description

Review

A worthy adaptation. . .Morikawa effectively conveys the human element. The emotions and when appropriate, the vulnerability of the subject is always unmistakable in the visual depictions. I imagine that every scene successfully projects the original author's intended sentiments. --Ain t It Cool News

Here we have a manga adaptation of the compelling memoir from the daughter of a Japanese mobster boss. Tendo's original drew words like 'powerful' and 'blunt' . . .and sold over 100,000 copies. --Library Journal

About the Author

Shoko Tendo's original heartbreaking prose memoir has struck chords around the world and has been translated into 14 languages. She has appeared in a handful of documentaries, at least one about her life, and several others featuring her life-affirming tattoo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Walker23 on 18 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
Some reviews for the book that I've noticed:

"While I found the core plot of the book to be very interesting, I haven't discussed the remarkable job that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa do in adapting this story. I was struck by the intimacy I felt for Shoko and how effectively Wilson and Morikawa brought the character to life.

I did have an interesting reaction to this book, once that I don't usually have with autobiographical comics. For some reason I felt that the depiction of this story actually distanced me a bit from the story that was being told. Perhaps due to Morikawa's use of some tropes of Japanese comics, I found myself surprisingly distanced from Shoko's story at times.

Perhaps part of the problem was in the slickness of the art. I'm not sure that Morikawa effectively showed the sordidness and sadness of Shoko's life in this adaptation. There's an inherent smoothness and slickness to the art that doesn't quite match the intensity of the story that's being told. I found my mind drifting and pondering how some American cartoonists might depict some of the scenes depicted here.

But of course that's an extremely unfair criticism. Morikawa does a really effective job of telling Shoko's story in a way that completely makes sense for her style. She does a really wonderful job of showing the details of Shoko's world, especially the story of her inner life. I really enjoyed the way that Morikawa gave Shoko an interesting inner life, and appropriately enough an inner life that reflects her youth and naiveté about the world."
-Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

"I don't think I have ever seen a story like this, in manga, anime, drama or film from Japan.
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By duncan hall on 10 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eye opener
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A heartbreaking look at the dangerous life of the daughter of a yakuza boss. Moving, shocking, raw and very real! 14 Jun. 2011
By Dennis A. Amith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In 2009, Shoko Tendo's memoir "Yakuza Moon" was translated to English and released by Kodansha International and what people had to read was the shocking and heartbreaking life that Shoko endured since childhood. And now, "Yakuza Moon" receives its manga version courtesy of Sean Michael Wilson (who worked on "Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai" with illustrations by Michiru Morikawa.

With a visual manga version of Shoko Tendo's memoir, readers can feel the emotions that Shoko had gone through as a youngster up to an adult when she tries to make something of her life.

In "Yakuza Moon", we learn how Shoko was the daughter of a yakuza boss. Her father lived a good life, had a good business but also known to be with women, while her mother lived to be there for the family. But there were times that Shoko's father was drunk and abusive and while she had this life at home, her life as a youngster were not kind as well because she was a daughter of a yakuza boss.

Many people thought of her as stupid and for young Shoko, when she heard her own teacher talking bad about her to other adults (not knowing she overheard everything), she learned how people can be so cruel.

But yet, she took everything that was handed to her, all the bad, all the bullying and also the problems that came with being a yakuza daughter.

From when her father was sentenced prison time, she and her sister Maki would live a dangerous lifestyle with other young yakuza children as they lied and got into clubs and lived the fast life. But while her father was in prison, one of the yakuza from her father's group tried to rape her and for Maki, this led to problems trusting men. In fact, you get to learn how badly her judgment of men will take her on a dangerous journey of sniffing thinner to experimenting with dangerous drugs.

And like many addicts, the longer you sink into that hole, the darker things get and the worse things become and for Shoko, this was her life. She was confused, she was depressed, she was bitter but one thing that she knew from these men that she was with, was that drugs made the pain go away, or so she would have thought.

The situations that you see Shoko go through, throughout this manga is shocking. From men using her as a sex toy as blackmail in order for her to protect her parents was very sad but it was the only way she could protect her family who was heavily in debt. She was beaten, forced to do things against her will and she was a woman who lived in her own personal hell and she knew no way back.

And each time she would meet a man who would seem to be her saviour from the darkness, they turn out to be much worse than she ever expected as she became a victim of abuse.

And while "Yakuza Moon" is not the happiest memoir and while the storyline is quite dark and real, the purpose of this memoir is to show that one can emerge from the darkness, may come out of it bit scarred but are able to say they lived through it and were able to make something of themselves.

But Shoko's story is that life in Japan that you don't hear or read about in Japanese newspapers or publications. While there are stories of yakuza and their wives, we don't hear about the emotional and physical turmoil that exists for the children. While every person is different, the fact is that Shoko paints a realistic portrait of how one's life can be changed for the worst when the people you most trust, turn against you. Your teachers, your family and the people who you think cares about you.

For Shoko, her life could have been your everyday drug addict tragedy or the woman who was beaten by her boyfriend that you would often read in Japanese newspapers but I do feel that this memoir was therapeutic for Shoko Tendo and also giving people an idea of how life for the children of yakuza is not ideal and in her case, life can be very screwed up.

"Yakuza Moon" is a wonderful manga adaptation by Sean Michael Wilson. I personally haven't read Shoko's book but Michiru Morikawa's manga illustrations really do make you feel the emotions that she has gone through. Because we get to see Shoko's sexual past of pleasure and pain, nudity and all, plus drug use, it's the reason why this manga has received a "Mature Content" rating.

I don't think I have ever seen a story like this, in manga, anime, drama or film from Japan. And to follow Japanese culture for so long and read something that was even surprising for me is quite rare. I've watched many dark stories from Japan and situations that were very screwed up, but it's one thing if it's made for entertainment but to read one that is actually based on a person's real life. It was quite surprising and it makes you wonder how many other Shoko Tendo's are there? How many are suffering today? And how many were not able to crawl out of the darkness and survive like Shoko was able to?

Unfortunately, this story is not just limited to Shoko and people in Japan but it happens to many children all over the world. But not many live that long to talk about it, nor do many write about it. So, I really did appreciate reading Shoko Tendo's memoir and to see how through all that pain that she has gone through, that she was able to survive from it and to eventually write a bestselling book and also to have a few documentaries under her belt. I'm also grateful that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa chose Tendo's "Yakuza Moon" for a manga adaptation, it really gave us a visual look, and feeling that impact from Shoko Tendo's memoir.

Overall, If you want a manga that is based on a true story, with a surprisingly dark but real storyline that you just don't really hear about in Japan, I highly recommend "Yakuza Moon: The Manga Edition".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Awesome 25 Sept. 2013
By Amanda Arias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this! I couldn't put the book down once I got it! But since it was the manga version, it was pretty short.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some reviews 18 Oct. 2011
By Walker23 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some reviews I've noticed for this book:

"While I found the core plot of the book to be very interesting, I haven't discussed the remarkable job that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa do in adapting this story. I was struck by the intimacy I felt for Shoko and how effectively Wilson and Morikawa brought the character to life... Morikawa does a really effective job of telling Shoko's story in a way that completely makes sense for her style. She does a really wonderful job of showing the details of Shoko's world, especially the story of her inner life. I really enjoyed the way that Morikawa gave Shoko an interesting inner life, and appropriately enough an inner life that reflects her youth and naiveté about the world.

As Zack points out, manga is not a genre. Manga is simply a word that applies to stories presented in comic form. This book reminds me of that adage. It's pretty damn terrific, no matter what country it comes from."
- Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

"Kodansha did a really nice job with this release, releasing the book in a larger size than Viz' Signature books and giving the cover a dust jacket. It's also flipped, something that I find curious. Maybe they're trying to reach a larger audience than just the manga crowd? It's probably a good plan, since I think Shoko's story has wide appeal. Yakuza Moon isn't the prettiest manga art or plot wise, but it's still an interesting read."
-The anime zone.com
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due 21 May 2012
By jrwelker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sean Michael Wilson did not write the English version of this, but claims credit for it. The English was taken from Louise Heal Kawai's translation of the original memoir: http://www.amazon.com/Yakuza-Moon-Memoirs-Gangsters-Daughter/dp/477003086X/. He simply claims credit for picking out phrases from Heal Kawai's translation and editing them down to fit them into bubbles. He clearly has no shame.
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
not about yakuza 22 July 2011
By Evzenie Reitmayerova - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is not about yakuza as advertized. th girl was born into yakuza family but split. she relied on her lovers and some of them were yakuza. that is it.
it seems there was also something lost in translation from the novel to graphic novel.
she is constantly whining how poor she and her former yakuza family are, next page she gives her apartment to her sister and buys a new one.
she is so naive she actually falls in love with everybody who pays her bills. she is poor - boo hoo.
dont believe the publisher - this is just about a silly girl who is poor, takes drugs and sleeps with everybody, nothing about yakuza.
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