Back

Japanese History Manga

#1
Has anyone explored this and have any recommendations on what's good and cheap?  I would probably want to get it through Amazon on the kindle since I have to throw out / give away any real books I buy when I move and I don't know how much longer I'll be in this sharehouse.  I'm looking for Manga since my only foray into actual History books in Japanese was a bit difficult and it seemed the author was writing to a Japanese audience that had some familiarity with the history as opposed to a real beginner.  Recommendations don't to be manga.
Reply
#2
In the ビリギャル book the teacher recommended these:
- 学研まんが日本の歴史シリーズ
- 少年少女日本の歴史 by 小学館

Apparently the one by 集英社 was no good, but I can't exactly remember the reasons why.
Should be able to find out more at http://kasumi.xyz/entry1.html
Reply
#3
+1. I don't have any recommendations to offer, but am very interested in any and all responses to the thread.
Reply
JapanesePod101
#4
(2017-07-06, 12:52 am)Nandemonai Wrote: In the ビリギャル book the teacher recommended these:
- 学研まんが日本の歴史シリーズ
- 少年少女日本の歴史 by 小学館

Apparently the one by 集英社 was no good, but I can't exactly remember the reasons why.
Should be able to find out more at http://kasumi.xyz/entry1.html

I checked that link and didn't see more options although I could look more carefully but what caught my eye is how the author of the page really felt that newer history manga had gone down in quality the past 20 years and was recommending editions from 1997 (or so). Of course, I'm solely interested in ebook editions so this clearly puts me outside the range of what he considers quality. The prices add up too. If I follow through and get a complete set it's about $130 or so.
Reply
#5
If you drop into a used book store like Book Off, you can find a good textbook that covers basic facts starting from the 縄文時代 and going up. The one I picked up last time is called 早わかり日本史, and is also available from Amazon JP. It's pretty good, but dry.

I also bought 少年少女日本の歴史、but found much of it too silly to bother with.

EDIT: There's another book whose name escapes me at the moment and is sitting on my bookshelf at home, but it's a general introduction to Japan's history, economy and culture written in side-by-side English and Japanese. I'll try and remember to get the details on it tonight and post them.
Edited: 2017-07-06, 12:30 pm
Reply
#6
For a non-written medium you could probably do worse than the NHK history programs for high schools, which start at the stone age and work forwards. It looks like they've redone their video player so it works on android now, which is cool, though they've also broken up all the programmes into 5 minute chunks, which is a bit irritating. If you poke around there are also textual summaries of each ep (eg this is for ep 1), which might be handy for mining vocab pre-watch or if you get lost watching.
Reply
#7
コミック昭和史
I have recently been reading the English edition at my local library. Pretty good.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showa:_A_History_of_Japan
Reply
#8
(2017-07-06, 2:13 pm)pm215 Wrote: For a non-written medium you could probably do worse than the NHK history programs for high schools, which start at the stone age and work forwards. It looks like they've redone their video player so it works on android now, which is cool, though they've also broken up all the programmes into 5 minute chunks, which is a bit irritating. If you poke around there are also textual summaries of each ep (eg this is for ep 1), which might be handy for mining vocab pre-watch or if you get lost watching.

Omg I remember when I was trying to be really high key AJATT and I used their high school Maths programme to try and study for my maths gcse exam lol. This one looks sort of hilarious, this old guy looks like he's cosplaying as a wise old dude from some manga imagining of turn of the century europe and his class is made up of AKB48 members lol. I think this is exactly how I want to learn history.
Reply
#9
(2017-07-08, 1:32 am)Helena4 Wrote:
(2017-07-06, 2:13 pm)pm215 Wrote: For a non-written medium you could probably do worse than the NHK history programs for high schools, which start at the stone age and work forwards. It looks like they've redone their video player so it works on android now, which is cool, though they've also broken up all the programmes into 5 minute chunks, which is a bit irritating. If you poke around there are also textual summaries of each ep (eg this is for ep 1), which might be handy for mining vocab pre-watch or if you get lost watching.

Omg I remember when I was trying to be really high key AJATT and I used their high school Maths programme to try and study for my maths gcse exam lol. This one looks sort of hilarious, this old guy looks like he's cosplaying as a wise old dude from some manga imagining of turn of the century europe and his class is made up of AKB48 members lol. I think this is exactly how I want to learn history.

Yeah right?  This looks nuts. I can't not watch it i think.
Reply
#10
Yeah, it is a bit bonkers (I think the previous set of NHK history videos were more traditionally serious), and there isn't much meat in each programme, but it looks like it at least skims over everything so you get a vague idea of what the average Japanese person knows about their country's history, and you have a framework to put any more serious materials in some kind of context.
Reply
#11
I just want to add my two cents on the matter because I read this thread before my current trip to Japan.  I went through a book store and checked out a ton of their history manga study guides and books.

For history, I think instead of going to the 学習まんが section of the bookstore, it's better to go to the actual regular "history" section of the bookstore.  The reason is that the 学習 versions are chock full of charts and diagrams and walls of text cramming all of the possible multiple choice questions that might come up about a certain event or time period or person.  In contrast, the general history section books will just be for general readership and not so intense on each individual date or fact or whatnot.

Don't write off all of the 学習 manga though, I found a few that were useful, like ones on 慣用句, 百人一首, and one that was a brief summary for each prefecture in Japan.
Reply
#12
Jin is a fantastic japansese drama with japanese subtitles available and it's based on a manga.
Reply
#13
There are two books that I would recommend, both that cover around the same period of time.
Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa- You can find this one for free on Aozora. There is also a manga Vagabond

And Xogum by James Clavell- I would recommend that you read this one in English.

If you just want to read books about japanese history and not practice Japanese specifically there are some great books around, I think Cambridge has a series about Japan.

Another book that probably no one else will recommend you is Things Japanese by Basil Hall Chamberlain. I haven't read this book but I know the author, check out his bio on wikipedia if you are interested. This book should be quite an experience to read because the author lived in Japan around the time that the Meiji government was being established, so he saw all of the changes that Japan went through at that time first hand. I even think he got to see the samurai while that class still existed, and that is awesome.

About the first two books, both are great books and Xogum is a personal favorite, they narrate events that happen in the end of the warring states period, however Musashi is focused in a single unimportant character(when you consider politics but he is known as one of the greatest swordsman of all time), whereas Xogum tells the tales of major political figures.

Both should be read with a grain of salt but are amazing insights into the late sixteenth century Japan
Edited: 2017-11-22, 5:43 pm
Reply