Cover image for Trash market
Trash market
Tsuge, Tadao, 1941-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Graphic novels. Selections. English
First edition.
Publication Information:
Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly, 2015.
Physical Description:
270 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Translated from the Japanese by Ryan Holmberg.
Up on the hill top, Vincent van Gogh = Oka no ue de, vincento van gohho wa -- Song of Shōwa = Shōwa go eika -- Manhunt = Sōsaku -- Gently goes the night : Yoru yo yuruyaka ni -- A tale of absolute and utter nonsense = Kōtōmukei dan -- Trash Market = Kuzu no ichi.
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Dark and funny comics from a Garo magazine manga-ka

Tadao Tsuge was one of the key contributors to the legendary avant-garde Japanese comics magazine Garo during its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s, renowned for his unpretentious journalistic storytelling and clear, eloquent cartooning. Trash Market brings together six of Tsuge's compelling, character-driven stories about life in post-World War II Japan.
"Trash Market" and "Gently Goes the Night" touch on key topics for Tsuge: the charming lowlifes of the Tokyo slums and the veterans who found themselves unable to forget the war. "Song of Showa" is an autobiographical piece about growing up in a Tokyo slum during the occupation with an abusive grandfather and an ailing father, and finding brightness in the joyful people of the neighborhood. Trash Market blurs the lines between fiction and reportage; it's a moving testament to the grittiness of life in Tokyo during the postwar years.
Trash Market features an essay from the collection's editor and translator, Ryan Holmberg, who is a specialist in Japanese art history. He explores Tsuge's early career as a cartoonist and the formative years the artist spent working in Tokyo's notorious for-profit blood banks.

Author Notes

Tadao Tsuge (born in 1941) has been drawing comics since the late 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was one of the central contributors to the underground comics magazine Garo , and the magazines Yako and Gento . In addition to cartooning, Tsuge is an avid fisherman and has written essays on the subject. He has held full-time blue-collar jobs for most of his artistic career, most significantly on the cleaning staff at one of Tokyo's for-profit blood banks, which figures prominently in a number of his works. In 1995, cult-film director Teru Ishii made a movie based on Tsuge's comics. Tsuge lives in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tsuge explores the ennui of postwar Japan to great effect in this melancholy volume, comprising six stories originally drawn in the 1960s and '70s. The book lingers on details such as trash in an alleyway and the chatter of bums waiting to sell their blood. It's dark work, to be sure, but never maudlin, and thoughtful without falling into pretension. More than anything, it's uncompromisingly frank about the least glamorous effects of war: the characters are never reduced to symbols of tragedy or degradation. The art borders on simplistic in the volume's weakest moments, but there's a stark loveliness to it at other times. If this volume has a major flaw, it's a tendency to ramble. One story about a man's unexplained disappearance is especially prone to this-though it's an interesting tale, it should have been half the length it was. Regardless, this is an honest, uncomfortable look into postwar malaise and the world of avant-garde Japanese comics. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.