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Yakuza Moon: The True Story of a Gangster's Daughter (The Manga Edition) [Paperback]

Shoko Tendo , Sean Wilson , Michiru Morikawa

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Book Description

July 27 2011

In this lively and inspiring adaptation by a rising star in the manga world, and with illustrations by a leading artist, Shoko Tendo’s powerful story has been recreated. Yakuza Moon is a heartrending and eye-opening account of her experiences growing up in Japan’s gangster society.

Born into the family of a wealthy yakuza boss, Shoko Tendo lived her early years in luxury. But labeled “the yakuza kid,” she was the victim both of bullying and discrimination from teachers and classmates at school, and of her father’s drunken rages at home. Then, the family fell into debt, and Tendo fell in with the wrong crowd. By the age of fifteen she was a gang member; by the age of eighteen, a drug addict; and in her twenties, a willing participant in a series of abusive and violent relationships with men.

Tendo sank lower and lower. After the death of her parents and her own suicide attempt, she began a tortuous, soul-searching reevaluation of the road she had taken. An unconventional act of empowerment (getting tattooed from the base of her neck to the tips of her toes) finally helped her take control of her life, leading to redemption and happiness.

Already an international success and translated into fourteen languages, Tendo’s story is sure to appeal to many new fans in this outstanding graphic version.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International; Manga Edition edition (July 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770031467
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770031464
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15 x 22 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #649,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A "worthy adaptation. . .Morikawa effectively conveys the human element. The emotions and when appropriate, the vulnerability of the subject is always unmistakable in the visual depictions. I imagine that every scene successfully projects the original author's intended sentiments." — Ain't It Cool News
"Here we have a manga adaptation of the compelling memoir from the daughter of a Japanese mobster boss. Tendo's original drew words like "powerful" and "blunt". . .and sold over 100,000 copies." — Library Journal
"'Yakuza Moon' is a wonderful manga adaptation by Sean Michael Wilson. I personally haven't read Shoko's book but Michiru Morikawa's manga illustrations really do make you feel the emotions that she has gone through. . . . I don't think I have ever seen a story like this, in manga, anime, drama or film from Japan. And to follow Japanese culture for so long and read something that was even surprising for me is quite rare. So I really appreciate reading Shoko Tendo's memoir but also grateful that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa chose Tendo's 'Yakuza Moon' for a manga adaption. . . .I highly recommend 'Yakuza Moon: The Manga Edition.'" -- J!-ENT
". . . completely enthralling. . . . the life of Shoko Tendo is an eye-opening and fascinating story. . . . Appropriately for a comic adapted from an autobiography, this book really puts readers inside the head of its protagonist. We get to experience Shoko's world from her perspective, imagine her world with her voice, and see the world through her eyes. . . . While I found the core plot of the book to be very interesting, I haven't discussed the remarkable job that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa do in adapting this story. I was struck by the intimacy I felt for Shoko and how effectively Wilson and Morikawa brought the character to life." -- Comics Bulletin

About the Author

Yakuza Moon is Shoko Tendo’s first book. She lives in Tokyo with her young daughter and works as a freelance writer.

Sean Michael Wilson has written a number of comic books and manga, including KI’s Hagakure. He is also the editor of the groundbreaking collection AX: Alternative Manga.

Michiru Morikawa is an artist, illustrator, and manga artist. She won the prestigious International Manga and Anime Award in Britain. Earlier in her career, Morikawa won a prize from Kodansha for Best New Manga Artist. Morikawa visited the UK's biggest comics festival, the Birmingham International Comic Convention, as a featured guest in order to talk about her new manga, Buskers, which she also worked in tandem with Sean Wilson.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking look at the dangerous life of the daughter of a yakuza boss. Moving, shocking, raw and very real! June 13 2011
By Dennis A. Amith (kndy) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In 2009, Shoko Tendo's memoir "Yakuza Moon" was translated to English and released by Kodansha International and what people had to read was the shocking and heartbreaking life that Shoko endured since childhood. And now, "Yakuza Moon" receives its manga version courtesy of Sean Michael Wilson (who worked on "Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai" with illustrations by Michiru Morikawa.

With a visual manga version of Shoko Tendo's memoir, readers can feel the emotions that Shoko had gone through as a youngster up to an adult when she tries to make something of her life.

In "Yakuza Moon", we learn how Shoko was the daughter of a yakuza boss. Her father lived a good life, had a good business but also known to be with women, while her mother lived to be there for the family. But there were times that Shoko's father was drunk and abusive and while she had this life at home, her life as a youngster were not kind as well because she was a daughter of a yakuza boss.

Many people thought of her as stupid and for young Shoko, when she heard her own teacher talking bad about her to other adults (not knowing she overheard everything), she learned how people can be so cruel.

But yet, she took everything that was handed to her, all the bad, all the bullying and also the problems that came with being a yakuza daughter.

From when her father was sentenced prison time, she and her sister Maki would live a dangerous lifestyle with other young yakuza children as they lied and got into clubs and lived the fast life. But while her father was in prison, one of the yakuza from her father's group tried to rape her and for Maki, this led to problems trusting men. In fact, you get to learn how badly her judgment of men will take her on a dangerous journey of sniffing thinner to experimenting with dangerous drugs.

And like many addicts, the longer you sink into that hole, the darker things get and the worse things become and for Shoko, this was her life. She was confused, she was depressed, she was bitter but one thing that she knew from these men that she was with, was that drugs made the pain go away, or so she would have thought.

The situations that you see Shoko go through, throughout this manga is shocking. From men using her as a sex toy as blackmail in order for her to protect her parents was very sad but it was the only way she could protect her family who was heavily in debt. She was beaten, forced to do things against her will and she was a woman who lived in her own personal hell and she knew no way back.

And each time she would meet a man who would seem to be her saviour from the darkness, they turn out to be much worse than she ever expected as she became a victim of abuse.

And while "Yakuza Moon" is not the happiest memoir and while the storyline is quite dark and real, the purpose of this memoir is to show that one can emerge from the darkness, may come out of it bit scarred but are able to say they lived through it and were able to make something of themselves.

But Shoko's story is that life in Japan that you don't hear or read about in Japanese newspapers or publications. While there are stories of yakuza and their wives, we don't hear about the emotional and physical turmoil that exists for the children. While every person is different, the fact is that Shoko paints a realistic portrait of how one's life can be changed for the worst when the people you most trust, turn against you. Your teachers, your family and the people who you think cares about you.

For Shoko, her life could have been your everyday drug addict tragedy or the woman who was beaten by her boyfriend that you would often read in Japanese newspapers but I do feel that this memoir was therapeutic for Shoko Tendo and also giving people an idea of how life for the children of yakuza is not ideal and in her case, life can be very screwed up.

"Yakuza Moon" is a wonderful manga adaptation by Sean Michael Wilson. I personally haven't read Shoko's book but Michiru Morikawa's manga illustrations really do make you feel the emotions that she has gone through. Because we get to see Shoko's sexual past of pleasure and pain, nudity and all, plus drug use, it's the reason why this manga has received a "Mature Content" rating.

I don't think I have ever seen a story like this, in manga, anime, drama or film from Japan. And to follow Japanese culture for so long and read something that was even surprising for me is quite rare. I've watched many dark stories from Japan and situations that were very screwed up, but it's one thing if it's made for entertainment but to read one that is actually based on a person's real life. It was quite surprising and it makes you wonder how many other Shoko Tendo's are there? How many are suffering today? And how many were not able to crawl out of the darkness and survive like Shoko was able to?

Unfortunately, this story is not just limited to Shoko and people in Japan but it happens to many children all over the world. But not many live that long to talk about it, nor do many write about it. So, I really did appreciate reading Shoko Tendo's memoir and to see how through all that pain that she has gone through, that she was able to survive from it and to eventually write a bestselling book and also to have a few documentaries under her belt. I'm also grateful that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa chose Tendo's "Yakuza Moon" for a manga adaptation, it really gave us a visual look, and feeling that impact from Shoko Tendo's memoir.

Overall, If you want a manga that is based on a true story, with a surprisingly dark but real storyline that you just don't really hear about in Japan, I highly recommend "Yakuza Moon: The Manga Edition".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Sept. 25 2013
By Amanda Arias - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this! I couldn't put the book down once I got it! But since it was the manga version, it was pretty short.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some reviews Oct. 17 2011
By Walker23 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Some reviews I've noticed for this book:

"While I found the core plot of the book to be very interesting, I haven't discussed the remarkable job that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa do in adapting this story. I was struck by the intimacy I felt for Shoko and how effectively Wilson and Morikawa brought the character to life... Morikawa does a really effective job of telling Shoko's story in a way that completely makes sense for her style. She does a really wonderful job of showing the details of Shoko's world, especially the story of her inner life. I really enjoyed the way that Morikawa gave Shoko an interesting inner life, and appropriately enough an inner life that reflects her youth and naiveté about the world.

As Zack points out, manga is not a genre. Manga is simply a word that applies to stories presented in comic form. This book reminds me of that adage. It's pretty damn terrific, no matter what country it comes from."
- Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin

"Kodansha did a really nice job with this release, releasing the book in a larger size than Viz' Signature books and giving the cover a dust jacket. It's also flipped, something that I find curious. Maybe they're trying to reach a larger audience than just the manga crowd? It's probably a good plan, since I think Shoko's story has wide appeal. Yakuza Moon isn't the prettiest manga art or plot wise, but it's still an interesting read."
-The anime zone.com
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Give Credit Where Credit Is Due May 21 2012
By jrwelker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sean Michael Wilson did not write the English version of this, but claims credit for it. The English was taken from Louise Heal Kawai's translation of the original memoir: http://www.amazon.com/Yakuza-Moon-Memoirs-Gangsters-Daughter/dp/477003086X/. He simply claims credit for picking out phrases from Heal Kawai's translation and editing them down to fit them into bubbles. He clearly has no shame.
2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not about yakuza July 21 2011
By Evzenie Reitmayerova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book is not about yakuza as advertized. th girl was born into yakuza family but split. she relied on her lovers and some of them were yakuza. that is it.
it seems there was also something lost in translation from the novel to graphic novel.
she is constantly whining how poor she and her former yakuza family are, next page she gives her apartment to her sister and buys a new one.
she is so naive she actually falls in love with everybody who pays her bills. she is poor - boo hoo.
dont believe the publisher - this is just about a silly girl who is poor, takes drugs and sleeps with everybody, nothing about yakuza.

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