Japanese cartoons are one of the most popular genres in the country, and they’ve long been used to convey a sense of a nation’s identity and national pride.
But now, a new wave of new cartoons are creating a buzz among the country’s youth.
Some are being promoted as “social justice” or “purity” projects, while others are being used as a means of “celebrating Japan’s culture and history” and are also drawing ire from those who say they are disrespectful of the nation’s history.
In an interview with the BBC, artist Masahiko Hasegawa explained why he and other artists have chosen to use the term “animal cell” instead of “cell.”
He explains that the term, which translates to “animal” in Japanese, is “not only for the animals but for the entire nation,” which “makes me feel a little embarrassed.”
“For me, animals are a kind of human being.
We have to respect their existence and to have respect for their dignity,” Hasegtawa says.
“When I think about how people see animals, it makes me feel ashamed.
I think we have to learn to be more sensitive and respectful.”
Hasegtawas works in a manga shop called “Shōkō” that specializes in “paintings that depict animal characters.”
His shop is a safe space for artists and fans to express themselves in a creative way.
He’s currently drawing a “Shokusen” (a story of animals) with a group of artists that includes Japanese cartoonist Nobuyuki Tanaka and artist Yuko Kawamura.
Tanaka recently started working on a story called “Sakura-chan,” which is about the adventures of the cute and lovable cat Sakura.
“Sakura is a very beautiful animal, and I’m trying to create a story about her, about people who love animals and want to protect them, and the feelings that they have toward them,” Tanaka says.
Hasegawas’ art is a bit more complicated, however.
He uses “animal cells” in a way that’s more reminiscent of an American or Japanese cartoon, with a “joker” on the inside.
Tanaka explains that in a Japanese cartoon the “joke” is an animal that’s trying to get out of a trap.
In the Japanese version of the story, it’s a human character who tries to get Sakura out.
The Japanese word “animal,” however, can also be translated to “human,” and Hasegaras art can look a bit like that.
Tanaka says that in Japanese society, the idea of a human being is seen as inferior.
In order to show the connection, Tanaka says, “you have to create something that’s not an animal.”
Tanaka’s story is set in the year 2025, after a virus wipes out the population of Japan.
“The only people left are animals,” he explains.
“We have to get rid of them.”
He explains that it’s difficult to draw “human” animals because “they’re not as beautiful as animals.
The human is just a thing.”
In addition to being a “giant creature,” the human can also have “human characteristics” like being “lovable,” “happy,” and “emotional.”
Hata says he also uses the term animal to describe the Japanese military, which he considers “a part of Japan’s history.”
“I think that it represents Japan’s role in the world, and it’s important to draw attention to it,” he says.
“I want to make a statement that this is not something that will disappear,” he continues.
“I want the public to think that they can be a part of the Japanese government and not be a threat.”
In the interview, Tanaka explains his idea of using “animal body” as a “political statement.”
He says that he feels that the Japanese people are not as aware as other countries about the “animalization” of their nation.
“Animals have been domesticated and domesticated to a point where they can no longer be called animals,” Tanaka explains.
In addition, he says, animals have been “politically manipulated.”
“Animals are now used to create the appearance of the political and social order,” Tanaka adds.
“So, it has become important to change this.”
He then explains how he drew his “shokusens,” which were created by Tanaka.
The “shokin” was meant to be a “public display of pride,” he explained.
“This shokin, or the human body, is the embodiment of our nation’s cultural identity and history.”
He explained that while “shoking” was used to make the image of “shoko,” or Japanese people, more appealing, “shoku” was actually meant to symbolize a “virus.”
Tanaka said he was inspired by the viral spread of the pandemic that left tens of millions of people without food and water, which made