Jirō Taniguchi

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Jirō Taniguchi (Angoulême, 2015)

Jirō Taniguchi ( Japanese 谷口 ジ ロ ー , Taniguchi Jirō ; civil spelling: 谷口 治郎 ; * August 14, 1947 in Tottori , Tottori Prefecture ; † February 11, 2017 ) was a Japanese mangaka .


Jirō Taniguchi began his career at the age of 19 as an assistant to Kyūta Ishikawa , one of the then representatives of Gekiga , the genre of more serious manga aimed at an adult audience. Ishikawa created stories with animal characters based on classic Japanese narratives and maintained a realistic style. After six years with Ishikawa, Taniguchi moved to Tokyo from the Japanese province in the early 1970s . His first work Kareta heya appeared in 1972 in the manga magazine Young Comics . In 1974 he was nominated for the Shogakukan Manga Prize . From 1976 he worked several times with Natsuo Sekikawa , who wrote detective stories and other genre manga for him, and also implemented texts by other authors. During this time he was heavily influenced by Franco-Belgian comics , especially Moebius' The Hermetic Garage . In the 1980s he broke away from classic manga genres such as boxer and samurai stories and, with Sekikawa , created a “new form of literary” with the five-part series “Botchan” no Jidai about Natsume Soseki , a writer from the Meiji period Manga " . Then Taniguchi began to implement his own scenarios as a manga and developed his own narrative style.

With The Walking Man in 1991, he finally turned to everyday, realistic and calmly told stories. The confrontation with Franco- Belgian comics led to a collaboration with Frédéric Boilet , who brought Taniguchi's works to the French comic market. According to a scenario by Moebius , Ikaru was created from 1997 to 2000 , initially published by Kōdansha in Japan . In 2009, Dargaud released the first original French comic book, drawn by Taniguchi, based on a scenario by Jean-David Morvan (including Spirou and Fantasio and Sillage ): the continuously colored album Printemps from the Mon année series, which is divided into four parts according to the seasons ; however, no further volumes have been published.

Taniguchi died on February 11, 2017 of multiple organ failure at the age of 69.

Style and themes

Jirō Taniguchi limited himself in his first work to the representation of a harsh male world. Influenced by Franco-Belgian comics and especially by draftsmen like Mœbius , Bilal and Schuiten as well as the Italian draftsmen Micheluzzi and Giardino , he began to implement the realism shown in these comics in the depiction of nature and people in his own works. Many drawings get by without dialogue, the calm mood is seldom interrupted by onomatopoeic elements. His style is characterized by " filigree lines and concise gray surfaces" , says Lars von Törne. The backgrounds are detailed and drawn realistically. According to Andreas Platthaus , Taniguchi's style is based on the ligne claire and he prefers “a contemplative mood that is articulated in a calm arrangement of the individual images, and this principle of objective side architecture is reinforced by the absence of spectacular onomatopoeia”. Compared to the work of the artists Hokusai and Hiroshige of the 19th century, there are great similarities in the way they look at and represent the everyday world and in how Taniguchi was inspired by Western artists. From this point of view he is the "most Japanese of all mangaka" .

His narrative style also changed in the 1980s to a calm depiction of everyday situations, nature and the animal world, for which he often uses the narrative form of the short story. Everyday stories like The Walking Man or A Zoo in Winter are autobiographically inspired. Taniguchi lived and worked in the Tokyo suburb of Kokubunji , so that the action is usually in the quieter suburbs and not in the dense, hectic inner city. However, many of the events shown do not exactly correspond to Taniguchi's experience, but have been embellished or alienated. In his works, which appeared from the end of the 1980s, the autobiographical element, everyday events and the objective perspective of his narrative style are characteristic and expression of the influence of European comics.

Working method

At the beginning of his work he developed the story and always researched the locations, took photos on site or looked for archives. Taniguchi developed the characters from the story. He first used this way of working with "Botchan" no Jidai . Taniguchi made the definition of the panels, pencil drawings and the ink of the figures himself. The detailed drawing of the background in ink, based on photos and other templates, as well as the application of the grid film was done by his assistant. What he liked about working as a draftsman for other authors was that he was given the scenario and thus gained insight into a strange world instead of being too caught up in his own. Later on, Taniguchi was often dissatisfied with scenarios he had written himself.


In 1992 Taniguchi was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Prize . For Botchan no Jidai he received the Osamu Tezuka Culture Prize in 1998 together with Natsuo Sekikawa . In 2003 he was the first Japanese to receive the Alph'Art, which is awarded at the Angoulême comic festival . In 2005 he received the Osamu Tezuka Culture Prize for The Walking Man . His work Vertraute Fremde was voted comic of the year as the first manga in Germany in 2007 and was awarded the Max and Moritz Prize for Best Manga at the Erlangen Comic Salon in 2008 .

On July 15, 2011 Taniguchi was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres . For this reason, the Saji Astro Park Observatory in his hometown named an asteroid they discovered in his honor on February 27, 2012: (88071) Taniguchijiro .

At the Erlangen Comic Salon in May 2016, the exhibition "Jirō Taniguchi - The Dreaming Man" was dedicated to Taniguchi and his work. It took place in the Great Hall of the Heinrich-Lades-Halle Congress Center.


Jirō Taniguchi has a great reputation in Japan. In Europe he is best known in France, since his works were published in French by Casterman and Dargaud as early as 1995 . In German-speaking countries, the first title appeared in 2006 with the short story volume Der Wanderer im Eis . This is possibly due to Taniguchi's “western” style and the focus on German manga publications on works that appear particularly “Japanese”. A work by Taniguchi was filmed for the first time in 2010 with Confidante Strangers by director Sam Garbarski .

  • 1972: Kareta Heya ( 嗄 れ た 部屋 )
  • 1979: Lindo 3! ( リ ン ド! 3 ), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1980: Mubōbi Toshi ( 無 防備 都市 ), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1981: Jiken-ya Kagyō ( 事件 屋 稼 業 ; Eng . Trouble is my business , writer & reader, 2014), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1982: Ao no Senshi ( 青 の 戦 士 ), scenario: Garon Tsuchiya
  • 1982: Hunting Dog ( ハ ン テ ィ ン グ ド ッ グ )
  • 1983: Knuckle Wars: Ken no Ran ( ナ ッ ク ル ウ ォ ー ズ 拳 の 乱 ), scenario: Garon Tsuchiya
  • 1983: Shin Jiken-ya Kagyō ( 新 ・ 事件 屋 稼 業 ), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1983: Live! Odyssey ( LIVE! オ デ ッ セ イ ), scenario: Garon Tsuchiya
  • 1984: Rudo Boy ( ル ー ド ボ ー イ ), scenario: Garon Tsuchiya
  • 1985: Enemigo (German also, Schreiber & Reader, 2013), text: MAT
  • 1986: Blanca ( ブ ラ ン カ )
  • 1987: "Botchan" no Jidai ( 「坊 っ ち ゃ ん」 の 時代 ), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1988: K , scenario: Jirō Tōzaki
  • 1988: Ice Age Chronicle of the Earth: Chikyū Hyōkai Jiki ( ICE AGE CHRONICLE OF THE EARTH 地球 氷 解事 紀 ; German Ice Age Chronicle of the Earth , Schreiber & Leser, 2017)
  • 1990: Genjū Jiten ( 原 獣 事 典 )
  • 1990: Garōden ( 餓狼 伝 ; dt. Like hungry wolves , writers & readers, 2012), scenario: Baku Yumemakura
  • 1991: Samurai Non Grata ( サ ム ラ イ ・ ノ ン グ ラ ー タ ), scenario: Toshihiko Yahagi
  • 1992: Aruku Hito ( 歩 く 人 ; German The Walking Man , Carlsen, 2009)
  • 1992: Kaze no Shō ( 風 の 抄 ; Eng. The writing of the wind , Carlsen, 2020), scenario: Hiroshi Koyama
  • 1993: Keyaki no Ki ( け や き の き ; Eng. From the nature of man , Carlsen, 2009)
  • 1994: Chichi no Koyomi ( 父 の 暦 ; Eng. The view of things , Carlsen, 2008)
  • 1996: Benkei in New York , scenario: Jimpachi Mōri
  • 1996: Blanca II
  • 1997: Ikaru ( イ カ ル ), scenario: Jean Giraud (German Ikarus , Schreiber & Leser, 2016)
  • 1997: Kodoku no Gurume ( 孤独 の グ ル メ ; Eng . The Gourmet - To enjoy the art alone , Carlsen, 2014), scenario: Masayuki Kusumi
  • 1998: Haruka na Machi e ( 遥 か な 町 へ ; German familiar strangers , Carlsen, 2007)
  • 1999: Sōsakusha ( Eng . The city and the girl , writer & reader, 2007)
  • 2000: Kamigami no Itadaki ( 神 々 の 山嶺 ; German summit of the gods , writers & readers, 2007–2008, 5 volumes), scenario: Baku Yumemakura
  • 2002: Ten no Takaku ( 天 の 鷹 ; German Sky Hawk , writer & reader, 2010)
  • 2005: Seton ( シ ー ト ン ), text: Yoshiharu Imaizumi
  • 2005: Hare Yuku Sora ( Up in the sky , writer & reader, 2009)
  • 2006: Sampo Mono (German: The Secret Garden of Nakano Broadway , Carlsen, 2012), scenario: Masayuki Kusumi
  • 2007: Mahō no Yama
  • 2008: Fuyu no Dōbutsuen ( 冬 の 動物園 ; Eng. A zoo in winter , Carlsen, 2010)
  • 2008: Sensei no Kaban ( セ ン セ イ の 鞄 ; Eng . The sky is blue, the earth is white , Carlsen, 2011, 2 volumes), adaptation of the novel of the same name by Hiromi Kawakami
  • 2009: Mon année 1: Printemps , scenario: Jean-David Morvan
  • 2010: Nazuke Enumono ( 名 づ け え ぬ も の )
  • 2011: Furari. ( ふ ら り. ; German The Cartographer , Carlsen, 2013)
  • 2014: Tomoji ( と も 路 ; her name was Tomoji , Carlsen, 2016)
  • 2014: Venice (German Venice , Carlsen, 2017)
  • 2014: Chitose no tsubasa, hyaku nen no yume ( 千年 の 翼 、 百年 の 夢 ; German: The Guardians of the Louvre. Carlsen, Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-551-76319-8 )

Short story collections:

  • 1980: Ōinaru Yasei ( 大 い な る 野生 )
  • 1984: Seifū wa Shiroi ( 西風 は 白 い )
  • 1985: Shin Ōinaru Yasei ( 新 ・ 大 い な る 野生 )
  • 1986: Hotel Harbor-View ( 海景 酒店 HOTEL HARBOR-VIEW; German Tokio Killers , Schreiber & Leser, 2017), scenario: Natsuo Sekikawa
  • 1992: Inu o Kau ( 犬 を 飼 う ; German dreams of happiness , Carlsen, 2008)
  • 1994: Mori e ( 森 へ )
  • 1999: Tōkyō Genshikō ( 東京 幻視 行 )
  • 2004: Tōdo no Tabibito ( 凍土 の 旅人 ; Eng . The Wanderer in the Ice , Schreiber & Reader, 2006)
  • 2009: Inu o Kau to 12 no Tampen ( 犬 を 飼 う と 12 の 短 編 )
  • 2009: Blanca ( ブ ラ ン カ )
  • 2009: Kami no Inu ( 神 の 犬 )
  • 2010: Aruku Hito Plus ( 歩 く ひ と PLUS)
  • 2012: Kōya yori: From Wilderness ( 荒野 よ り FROM WILDERNESS)


  • The Japan Foundation (Ed.): Manga. The world of Japanese comics. Cologne 2000.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g Andreas Platthaus: Transfigured Strangers - Jirō Taniguchi and the seductive power of western individualism . In: German Film Institute - DIF / German Film Museum & Museum of Applied Arts (Ed.): Ga-netchû! The Manga Anime Syndrome. Henschel Verlag, 2008. pp. 208-213.
  2. a b Lars von Törne: Tokyo, my muse . in: Der Tagesspiegel , February 9, 2014, p. 5.
  3. Klaus Schikowski: Foreword from familiar strangers . Carlsen Comics, 2007.
  4. ^ A b Nicolas Finet in: Paul Gravett (ed.) And Andreas C. Knigge (transl.): 1001 comics that you should read before life is over. Zurich 2012, Edition Olms. P. 568.
  5. Mainichi Shimbun : 谷口 ジ ロ ー さ ん 69 歳 = 漫画家 「孤独 の グ ル メ」 (Japanese), accessed February 16, 2017
  6. Jirō Taniguchi in the preface to the German edition of Enemigo
  7. ^ Paul Gravett: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. Egmont vgs. 1st edition 2006, Cologne. P. 157.
  8. ^ A b c Lars von Törne: The city stimulates me. Der Tagesspiegel, February 7, 2014, accessed on July 20, 2014 .
  9. ^ Paul Gravett: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. Egmont vgs. 1st edition 2006, Cologne. P. 7 and 162.
  10. Official report from comic.de ( Memento of the original from April 12, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the 2007 comic of the year for Familiar Strangers  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.comic.de
  11. Thomas Hummitzsch: In the realm of mangas - Comics by Jiro Taniguchi. Berlin literature review, July 23, 2008, accessed December 12, 2010 .
  12. 谷口 ジ ロ ー が 仏 の 芸 術 文化 勲 章 受 勲 、 亜 樹 直 は は 農 事功 労 章 . natalie.mu, July 15, 2011, accessed July 16, 2011 (Japanese).
  13. Asteroid Named After Manga Creator Jiro Taniguchi. In: Anime News Network. March 3, 2012, accessed April 14, 2012 .
  14. Jirō Taniguchi - The dreaming man. (No longer available online.) Erlangen Comic Salon , 2016, archived from the original on February 14, 2017 ; accessed on February 13, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.comic-salon.de