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NonNonBa

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  413 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The first English translation of Mizuki's best-loved work

NonNonBa is the definitive work by acclaimed Gekiga-ka Shigeru Mizuki, a poetic memoir detailing his interest in yokai (spirit monsters). Mizuki’s childhood experiences with yokai influenced the course of his life and oeuvre; he is now known as the forefather of yokai manga. His spring 2011 book, Onward Towards Our N
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 800)
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Marco Bucchioni
Not just a book about ghosts and yokai. Actually the supernatural beings play just a marginal role: you may even think that they are just generated by protagonist's immagination, hopes and fears. It's more like a poetic walk down the memory lane of a man who now lives in a world he probably doesn't fit in. A nostalgic dive in the rural pre-world-war-II Japan. Mizuki recalls his childhood days and introduces us to his parents, relatives, friends and, obviously, his "nanny" Nonnonba. A story of gr ...more
Emilia P
This book is ostensibly about yokai - Japanese ghouls/goblins/fairies/etc, but really it's about early 20th century childhood in rural Japan, and spooky-cool grandma ladies, and as such its very sweet and successful and touches on that weird place of childhood where you don't even have to believe in the supernatural, it's just seamlessly real. Hooray! And nicely illustrated.
Gina
Beautiful and touching and funny.

NonNonBa and Shigeru's relationship reminded me of Charles Dicken's description of his nanny and the stories she told, and how the fright tormented him but he also couldn't get enough of it.

For Shigeru the stories sometimes truly frighten him and discomfort him, but he wants more. They also entertain him and nurture his creativity. Some of the yokai are almost friendly, or at least capable of truce, and they appear to help create an escape during bleak economic
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Sergio Sierra
Muy buena aproximación al pasado del autor y a sus vivencias de infancia donde germina ese mundo sobrenatural al que pertenecen los yôkai, tan importantes en su plasmación artística de estos seres monstruosos del folklore japonés. Se trata de un comic divertido y original, lleno de inocencia y sencillez, pero a la vez oscuro y sobrecogedor. Para mí un imprescindible junto a su Kitaro.
Amy
I really love his style. The realism of his drawings in some frames, and the more simple manga type drawing in others, juxtaposed with one another is somehow powerful. In this book, and also in Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, he is able to convey the bigger picture of the time and circumstances through a very personal story. Highly recommend taking a look at Mizuki-san.
Noran Miss Pumkin
It is hard to describe this book. I found it enchanting, and at times sad. It s a view into a world long since passed. How do you explain a doughnut to someone how never seen one before. Would you walk miles, just to try one, with the scant change you had? Add Japanese myths, and spirits-you have a unique mix to savour.
Jason Keenan
This could be my favourite collection outside the Showa series by Mizuki. It's an incredible blend of stories growing up in pre war rural japan as well as one boys discovery of yokai. It is the genesis of all Mizuki's yokai stories to come it seems. Wonderful storytelling and some surprising and sad history.
Sasha Boersma
Perhaps the best book I've read through 2013... lovely collection of stories of a young boy in Japan (pre WWII) learning about the world of yokai (spirits). Beautiful tale with amazing, simple illustrations. It's like a more child-friendly not-dark version of Spirited Away in book form.
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
Shigeru recounts the story of his boyhood in which his elderly neighbour NonNonba educates him about the various ghosts and spirits that inhabit their corner of Japan.

I found this to be a refreshingly ordinary childhood memoir that happened to feature some elements of the supernatural. Mizuki recounts a number of incidences from his boyhood with humour and sensitivity. While the meetings with various spirits are scary at times, the background context to each apparition is tho
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Sylvester
Gorgeous art. Interesting story. What's not to like?!
Xandra
Why can’t all manga be more like this? This memoir was delightful.
Reading Nonnonba was like reliving my childhood with all its carefree days, innocent ignorance, boundless imagination, fun games, friendships, first loves, life’s first sorrows and concerns.



The blend of humor and tragedy makes for an emotional journey with joy and laughter on one page followed by sadness and tears on another. Mizuki’s reality (marked by poverty, family tensions, death) is enriched by Nonnonba’s stories about yoka
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Charles Dee Mitchell
This is Japanese folklorist and manga artist Shigeru Mizuki's memoir of his 1930's childhood in the small coastal town of Sakaiminato. The small boys of the town play constantly at war, staging pitched battles with rocks and traps aimed at enemies across town. Shigeru, an artist at heart, befriends the elderly woman who lives near by and she regales him with stores of Yokai, the demon spirits, sometimes playful and sometimes dangerous, that fill the houses and surrounding countryside of Sakaimin ...more
Blue
A great memoir, NonNonBa has the perfect blend of the supernatural creatures of Japanese folk tales and a very tangible childhood in rural 20th-century Japan. Our unlikely hero prefers to indulge in stories of goblins and monsters and spirits from the grandma figure in his life and draw manga than to go to middle school. You can imagine his mother's worries. There is a certain sadness that runs through the cheerful and carefree childhood days, where boy gangs declare daily war against each other ...more
Hugo Seven
A fantastic read, which offers some comprehensive knowledge on the spirits and monsters (Yokai) of Japanese folklore, as well as give us a glimpse into the life of a typical young boy growing up in early 20th century Japan.
Of course, the undisputed star of this book is most definitely NonNonBa, the old woman who introduces young Shigeru to the world of Yokai in the first place!
The artwork is Shigeru's signature unique style. A blend of lush, detailed backdrops, and charmingly stylized, almost "c
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Kimi
This was episodic and sometimes disjointed, but it was very good. I like how animated everyone was and I loved the atmosphere of the stories. It was perfectly in the perspective of a child and it was great. Also it had youkai which I love, so I am a little biased, but I also really loved the interactions between people. I felt sad for GeGe because so many if his friends either died or got sold. But it's a great pre WWII Japan story about family and ghosts.
Bobby Rush
A nostalgic memoir by one of Japan's best folklore storytellers, Shigeru Mizuki. The comic follows the author in his hometown of Sakaiminato and his life growing up with Nonnonba, a sort of local "nun" that helps the inhabitants of the village with prayer and sight of the superstitious world of Japan. She tells Shigeru of the Yokai (spirits), as he converges the two reality and fantasy into an overlapping read, that lets them interplay into solid belief and entrapment of it all.

I was captivated
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Dan
Wow, a lot of people really love this book. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. Neat childhood memoir, but lacking a plot arc and character development to really draw me in. I'm not trying to be overcritical here: I'm not left with many complaints, just surprised how high a rating this book gets. I'd like to check out the author's Showa series about Japan around WWII.
Paula
An absolutely wonderful account of Mizuki-sensei's boyhood in postwar Japan and the old woman who introduced him to traditional tales of the yokai. The creatures' presence is tangible throughout (they are actually seen and encountered) and makes the book magical as well as charming. Meanwhile, his family (salaryman/dreamer dad and fiercely proud mom, and younger brother) struggles to make ends meet, local kids design pretend warfare, and human life goes on - to the yokai world's amusement. A gre ...more
Pradeesh Balakrishnan
Introduces you to the "fairies" and "spirit" (Yokai) folklore in Japanese culture.
James Eckman
Materiel overlaps other books by the author, which seems a bit lazy to me, but good read.
Todd Glaeser
I was slowly immersed in this memoir, so that by the end, I was sad that it ended.
Andrea
Sweet stories about Nononba nanny and Gege, with ghost.
Serena
A tender description of the life of a young boy in pre- World War 2 Japan. The contrast between the spirit world and the human world is both funny and heart rending. I loved it.
Nellie Airoldi
A parte piccoli dettagli narrativi che soggettivamente non mi sono piaciuti (ma appunto, molto soggettivi), questa graphic novel traspira Giappone da tutti i pori: quel Giappone antico, fatto di misteri e timori, di spiriti e fantasmi che non sempre spaventano perché basta saperli guardare con l'animo puro di un bambino o con l'intraprendenza di una grande nonnina, forse il personaggio meglio riuscito dell'intera storia. Consigliatissimo!
VAle
preso in biblioteca
Lo confesso, mi sono fatta trarre in inganno dal sottotitolo in italiano, aspettandomi quindi storielle sovrannaturali di vario genere.
In realtà gli spiriti ci sono, ma non sono di certo i protagonisti.
All'inizio della lettura questo mi ha un po' delusa, ma continuando mi sono affezionata al protagonista e al suo cosmo, seguendolo nelle vicende di questo piccolo romanzo (grafico) di formazione!
Shruti
This is a delight: a portrait of small village life in 30s/40s Japan, life entwined with spritely mischievous yokai hassling you in bedrooms, on forest paths and in the open sea. Just astonishingly good draughtsmanship, puts you right there in front of the sea, or by silent totems in the forests.
Valerie
Extraordinaire manga qui tout en explorant avec humour et magie les supersitions et le folklore du Japon, nous donne une vision du monde à la fois riche et splendide. Les dessins sont superbe, l'écriture est magnifique et originale. Chef d'oeuvre du manga: à lire absolument
Cheryl
Amazing memoir in graphic novel format leads the reader through early 20th century Japan through the eyes of a child who only wants to be an artist, honing his craft by illustrating the stories of the yokai (spirits or faeries) told by Nononba, a grandmotherly figure.
Husti
El agridulce Japón rural de los años 30 aderezado con historias de fantasmas simpáticos. Se coge mucho cariño a todos los personajes, especialmente al padre del protagonista y al Azuki Hakiri, que te hace sonreir sólo con verle esos dientes y esa barba.
Ian Carey
Great manga chronicling Mizuki's childhood, filled with demons and ghosts first loves and neighborhood battles. Just finished watching the J-dorama about his life ("Gegege no Nyoubo"), so there were a lot of familiar stories.)
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Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる) is Japanese manga cartoonist, most known for his horror manga GeGeGe no Kitaro. He is a specialist in stories of yōkai and is considered a master of the genre. He is a member of The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology, and has traveled to over 60 countries in the world to engage in fieldwork of the yōkai and spirits of different cultures. He has been published in Japan ...more
More about Shigeru Mizuki...
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths Showa: A History of Japan, 1926-1939 Kitaro Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan

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