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George Akiyama (ジョージ秋山 Jōji Akiyama?, born Yūji Akiyama (秋山 勇二) on April 27, 1943 in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, died on May 12, 2020) was a Japanese manga artist known for dealing with controversial and incendiary topics in many of his works.[1][2]


Akiyama quit high school and moved to Tokyo to become a manga artist. After working briefly as a book wholesaler, he became an assistant for manga artist Kenji Morita.[3] He made his major debut in 1966 with the gag-manga Gaikotsu-kun, which was published in Bekkan Shōnen Magazine, and shocked readers in 1970 with Ashura, which contained numerous unsettling depictions of human life. The first chapter of Ashura contains a scene where a woman commits cannibalism to prevent herself from dying of starvation, and later attempts to eat her own child as well.[2] The August 2, 1970 edition of Weekly Shōnen Magazine which first published this chapter was banned in several regions as a result of this scene, propelling Akiyama to infamy within the manga industry. Akiyama continued his career with Kokuhaku (lit. "Confessions"), which began serialization in the 11th edition of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1971. This manga took on an unprecedented format where Akiyama would make a confession each week (for instance, in one chapter he confesses that he is a murderer), only to admit that his confession was a lie in the following week's chapter.[3] After repeating this for the duration of the manga, Akiyama suddenly announced his retirement, cutting off all of the serializations he held on various magazines to embark on a solo journey across Japan.

Akiyama came out of retirement only 3 months later with Bara no Sakamichi, which began serialization in the 34th edition of Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1971. He started his longest work, Haguregumo, on Big Comic Original, which won him the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1979.[4] The series was also adapted into an anime movie by Toei Animation in 1982.[5] The series officially ended in 2017.

Hakuai no Hito and Sutegataki Hitobito, both serialized in the magazine Big Gold, marked Akiyama's transition towards employing more philosophical themes rather than the gag-based style he had used throughout his early career. Akiyama also participated in creating a manga version of the Bible, which was published by Gentosha in 2005. The same year, he also published An Introduction to China: A Study of Our Bothersome Neighbors (マンガ中国入門 やっかいな隣人の研究 Manga Chūgoku Nyūmon: Yakkai na Rinjin no Kenkyū?), a highly controversial manga which depicted the Chinese as being obsessed with cannibalism and prostitution, and denied that the Rape of Nanking ever occurred.[1] The book went on to become a bestseller in Japan despite its incendiary content.

Akiyama died on May 12, 2020, at the age of 77 of unspecified causes.

Notable works

Name Year Collected
Batman X 1967-1968 5 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Recipient of the Kodansha Jidō Manga Award.
Derorinman 1969-1970 2 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Jump
The volumes were titled Ganso Derorinman because they were released after the 1975 remake.
Horafuki Dondon 1969-1970 5 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Ashura 1970-1971 3 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Zeni Geba 1970-1971 5 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Kokuhaku 1971 1 volume, Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Bara no Sakamichi 1971-1972 3 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Jump
The Moon 1972-1973 4 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Haguregumo 1973- 88 volumes (ongoing), Big Comic Original
Hana no Yotarō' 1974-1979 15 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Champion
Derorinman 1975-1976 3 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Remake of the 1969 manga, which differs significantly from the original version.
Bonkura Dōshin 1976-1977 4 volumes, Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Gyara 1979-1981 8 volumes, Shōnen King
Pink no Curtain 1980-1984 Part 1: 15 volumes, Part 2: 6 volumes, Weekly Manga Goraku
Chōjin Haruko 1982-1984 3 volumes, Weekly Morning
Kaijin Gonzui 1984 1 volume, Weekly Shōnen Jump
Koiko no Mainichi 1985-1992 32 volumes, Weekly Manga Action
Kudoki-ya Joe 1986-1987 4 volumes, Big Comic Superior
Lovelin Monroe 1989-1993 13 volumes, Young Magazine
Onnagata Kisaburō 1993-2002 7 volumes, Big Comic Original Sōkan
Hakuai no Hito 1993-1996 8 volumes, Big Gold
Dobugero-sama 1995-1996 1 volume, Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Sutegataki Hitobito 1996-1999 5 volumes, Big Gold
Ikinasai Kiki 2001-2002 4 volumes,
WHO are YOU 2002 1 volume, Big Comic Original Sōkan
Author listed as Yūji Akiyama during serialization.
Manga Chūgoku Nyūmon: Yakkai na Rinjin no Kenkyū 2005 Published by Asukashinsha.

See also


This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Norimitsu Onishi (2005-11-19). "Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "L'autre Bande Dessinee - Ashura by George Akiyama". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "George Akiyama". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  4. "小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  5. "Haguregumo (movie)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 

External links

ca:George Akiyama