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The Walking Man

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,213 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Whoever takes the time these days to climb a tree in bare feet? To stop and observe the comings and goings of the birds? To play in the puddles after the rain has gone? To return a shell to the sea? The Walking Man follows a modern day Japanese business man as he strolls at random through urban Japan - often silent, usually alone - with his vivid dreams that let time stand ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Ponent Mon Ltd (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,213 ratings  ·  245 reviews


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Seth T.
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recently having read Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I was reminded, in some ways, of a much better book. If one that is entirely different. The younger of the two narrative forces in Barbery's book, the genius twelve-year-old Paloma, expresses a fondness for the works of Jiro Taniguchi (specifically his Summit of the Gods). I've been a fan of Taniguchi myself for some time, though it's difficult to find his stuff on American shores.

Unlike Barbery's Hedgehog, the only way one coul
...more
Travis
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels, manga
Generally enjoyable and it made me a bit nostalgic for Japan and my own wanderings there. However, I found myself weirdly disliking the main character, even though he hardly says anything. Part of the problem is that he just looks annoyingly smug. Another part is that we only ever see his simple wonder of exploring new places and laughingly accepting minor misfortunes like unexpected rain or broken glasses, we never see the contrasting grind of daily life. I suppose given the homogeneity of Japa ...more
Michael
241019 later addition: new find https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... basically the same but set historical era...

270719 much later later addition: i look at this again, slip back into that meditating calmness, now read more books fiction and non, looked more graphics, and there is not much to add to previous reviews. favorite graphics for my mom, i can see why, as it is pleasant, simple, everyday life rendered with delicacy... i still love it...

010815 later addition: i ordered this at the u
...more
Nate D
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The extraordinary that lurks within the ordinary, but stripped of any glistening of unreality or dread. A man walks, and observes, and it's magic. I feel like this is a good explanation of some of my day-long walks. There's a significant and perfect philosophy here. I would say that I only wished that they needn't be so solitary, but of course the last story here, and some of my best walks, do include a second, key walker... ...more
erforscherin
I like this one very much: a series of little vignettes, mostly silent, about a man walking around Japan having quiet adventures. Lovely, lovingly detailed line art; it makes me wish I could visit again. I think I would have left out the final chapter, though — the art is expressive enough that I’m happier not knowing his thoughts.

(As a side note, I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for the wife in this story, who clearly puts up with a lot. Her husband perpetually must come home late with torn shi
...more
Sophie
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Something that I really have to remember is not to wait so long when a book is calling out to me. I've been wanting to read this for years, I think, and today I finally got the chance to do so. A collection of small moments, it's a very beautiful and quiet book, and one that managed to pull me in completely. There aren't that many words, really, but they're not necessary anyway.

The kind of book that makes you smile and helps you remember to pay attention to the small things - you can find joy a
...more
Laura (ローラ)
The walking man encourages you to forget the pressures of life and enjoy every step of the journey; to appreciate every experience and meeting. This is less a story and more an expression of feelings told through beautifully rendered, compact illustrations. And, can we just appreciate Taniguchi's mastery over screen tones.... this is how it should be done!

The only issues I had are with the publication: flipped pages were entirely unnecessary; and it would have been wonderful seeing some of the w
...more
Greta G
Relaxing indeed.
I nearly fell asleep.
Very ZEN.

 photo 712e6cfa-d0b6-4f29-b75d-efdb15632c6d.jpg
...more
Olivia
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
I can't believe I forgot to add this to my Goodreads shelves!

A one shot manga, that in my humble opinion, very clearly illustrates the Japanese sensibility of Mono no Oware (物の哀れ). The preciousness of the temporary, a heightened appreciation of the transitory nature of things, with the melancholic knowledge that nothing lasts forever.

However this title has more of a focus on the heightened, loving appreciation of the mundane, rather than the melancholy that comes with the awareness of how temp
...more
Phoenix
4.5 stars, dropped a half mostly for what seemed to be early works of this series included in this expanded edition. They sort of made the re-reading bittersweet. But it’s also just a personal preference of mine—I think the later more crystallized concept of The Walking Man is perfect as a mostly silent, meditative graphic narrative. The older bits felt a bit forced. But I’m still very attached to this series 6 years after the first time I picked it up from my local library.

This was the sweetest
...more
Arnav Sinha
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me go out and take a long walk as soon as I was done reading it.

On late summer evenings, I love to lie down on the grass in our garden and look at the stars. I live far from the city, and am fortunate to be able to see the stars clearly. My family takes it as one of my idiosyncrasies. If only I could convey how beautiful the night sky can be. Why watch the TV inside, when you can watch the sky!

I live close to Manali, where my favorite thing to do is to go to a forested area where
...more
Venus Maneater
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, manga
It's so beautiful, and soothing. The man looks at life with childlike wonder, picking up broken pieces other people left behind, observing them and rebuilding them. When his wife shows him a seashell that their dog found while digging in the yard, he looks at her lovingly and asks if she wants to go on a trip to the coast to bring the seashell back where it came from. And they do.

It was a lot of fun to follow a man who has never forgotten how to climb trees, or how to sneak into a closed public
...more
Natalia
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading this made me feel that, despite all the noise and everyone always striving for something more, all I really want out of life is an abundance of simple pleasures. Nothing fancy. Just what's in this book. ...more
Diego Munoz
Aug 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title implies, not much happens.

A guy walks around, thinks about about something he wants to do, does it, goes home and tells his wife, end of story. Not sure about the context of this book nor of it’s creations.

As for the main character, he is likable. A little curious, helpful, kind and simple. As someone who lives in japan though, perhaps these stories are too close to my own life to fully appreciate, so these stories verge on boring for me.

Where it not for the beautiful illustratio
...more
Iulia
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was different in every way possible. It’s not even a story... nothing actually happens. That is exactly what this books is trying to capture : the ‘nothing’ happening in between all the big, important things we do. The moments you have to take slowly & enjoy the little things, not rushing for anything. Such a powerful message explained throught image, the little details & simplicity.
Katey Flowers
This is not as charming as Furari. However, Taniguchi’s way of depicting the magic of small, insignificant moments is as touching as ever. And of course the art - the art is tender, expansive and, on several occasions, breathtaking.

I think even more than Furari, I was aware of the different experiences displayed by the husband and the wife in this story. I loved the way the main character found meaning and adventure in the everyday, but he was only afforded that small freedom because his wife w
...more
Sara Q
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sara Q by: Mark
A beautiful, peaceful, meditation wrapped in a book. This is the kind of book you have to slow down for, take time with, look at closely. And then when you're done, you go for a walk and see your surroundings with new eyes. ...more
ulush
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this one. Well, maybe 'reading' is not the correct term. It's more of an experience really. You join a man walking around his home town enjoying the little things. I'ts so refreshing and relaxing and it's a great reminder to stop and smell the roses a bit more often :) ...more
Erik Stern
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a relaxing read
Tasnim
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A comic book that teaches you how to enjoy the little things of life. Things that really matter and brings real joy.
Anna C
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Art : 2 stars
Character : 5 stars
Plot : 4 stars
Storytelling : 5 stars
World building : 4 stars

Peaceful. Tranquil. Unpretentious.

Less dialogue and just picture, which is great.
Mark
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was amazing. Almost flaneur-like. Simple stories of wanders. Of simple enjoyment. Of noticing.
Tam G
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked parts of this one very very much. It takes a suburban Japanese businessman and gives him one of my favorite hobbies--walking and observing the world around him. I also enjoyed the very common Japanese-ness of it. The canals and the alleyways and the concrete squares of houses.

I don't think there's an over-reaching theme to this series. I think probably they were released individually for a newspaper or other market. Don't expect the ending to have any finality to it, the best of the cha
...more
alana
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book! Taniguchi's drawings of small urban moments are particularly well rendered. I love the way he captures the charm of suburban Japanese neighborhoods that still seem cramped even when they are comparatively spacious to city centers. And he does this in such small frames! Wow. I feel like I have been to every place he draws in the book, and yet he proposes a voyeuristic following of the walking man's perception of his daily surroundings. I've yet to read a Japanese graphic novel ...more
Fredrik Strömberg
A beautiful, quiet story about a Japanese man taking walks in his close surroundings. The images are exquisite in their low-key way of transmitting the feel of his impressions. As a reader, you get sucked into the story and hear the sounds, feel the weather on your skin and start to sense what the nameless man is thinking.

The soft way in which the man experiences his world also made an impression on me, reminding me to enjoy the small moments in life more.

In short: a graphic novel that I have no
...more
Aoi
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
A very unassuming gem of a book. The themes all tie to the charm of everyday unexpected surprises -the beauty of the changing seasons, and the pleasures of lounging on a tree top or swimming in the moonlight.
Cleverly, the author doesn't go down the usual route by contrasting these moments with the daily grind of a salary man's life - a fact so well ingrained with the audience, we can seemingly relate and experience what our nameless protagonist feels.
...more
Bornfirst
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
This book was like the manga equivalent of watching an Ozu movie. Nothing really happens in this book. The title sums it all up. A middle aged man who just moved to a new town with his wife, takes walks around the neighborhood. He observes his surroundings, the people, and we observe the world with him. This book is totally zen and I loved it. Who needs character development or story arcs. Taniguchi’s drawings are meticulously detailed and super clean - as zen as the story.
Ostrava
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a really nice manga, which begs a possible reread some time in the future. However, the quality between the walks themselves could vary a lot. The one in the swimming pool was the strangest, as was the one where he just started to follow someone. Still, it's difficult to point out flaws here, when it would be much easier to simply enjoy it for what it is. But I was somehow hoping for a little bit more, so I can't say I loved the experience either. ...more
Sara
Aug 08, 2014 added it
This is a first but I just can't give this book a rating. One star is too little cause it was good, five stars are too much because I didn't like it that much and all of the in between just don't cut it. ...more
Kevin
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful meditation on walking and life, with minimal dialogue, no real plot. If this manga is an accurate depiction of urban Japan it appears to be a pedestrian wonderland. Unlike the city I live in where I feel I take my life in my hands when I get out of my car and try to walk somewhere.
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Name (in native language): 谷口 ジロー
Zodiac: Leo

He began to work as assistant of the late mangaka Kyota Ishikawa.
He made his manga debut in 1970 with Kareta Heya (A Desiccated Summer), published in the magazine Young Comic.
From 1976 to 1979, he created several hard-boiled comics with the scenarist Natsuo Sekigawa, such as City Without Defense, The Wind of the West is White and Lindo 3.
From 1984 to 19
...more

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When author TJ Klune was growing up, he never saw queer characters in books in a way that felt true to his experience.  “They were the...
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