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Enter The Limping Hero

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Chapter Summary

Gegegeno Kitaro, the manga series of Mizuki Shigeru, reintroduced yōkai characters to popular visual media in the post-war era. The first person from Mizuki's native Sakaiminato city, Tottori Prefecture, to graduate from a university in Tokyo, Mizuki's father had a special interest in the visual arts and in literature which helped Mizuki to develop his own interest in pictures from a very early age. Mizuki, who himself lost an arm during his war years, would often describe the experience when he suddenly realized his wound had healed after a long fight with infections and malarial fever. The motif of the one-eyed, maimed or limping hero is rooted not only in Japanese folk tradition, but also in world literature and mythology. A comical antagonist character of the manga and animation series is Nezumi Otoko (Ratman), who is half yōkai and half human.

Keywords: Japanese folk tradition; limping hero; Mizuki Shigeru; Ratman; Sakaiminato city; yōkai characters



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