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Chapter Summary

One dark and stormy night in 1964, twelve years after Japan regained its independence from the Allied Forces, a strange little boy emerged from the graveyard, crawling out of the tomb of his dead mother. The fact that Mizuki, one of the most influential and far-reaching manga artists in contemporary Japan, is virtually unknown in the West shows how Japanese manga and anime are still a relatively under-researched field when compared to their immense influence on international popular culture as well as to their current international artistic and cultural status. Modernism progressively introduced flatness as a concept in fine art that developed through the movements of Impressionism, Cubism and later twentieth-century Pop Art. The theory of the Superflat borrows from the art historical theorization of Tsuji (1988), which suggests that traditional Japanese painting creates autonomous spaces based on a two-dimensional aesthetic.

Keywords: Cubism; Impressionism; Japan; manga artists; Mizuki; modernism



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