22nd Special Achievement Award

KURE Tomofusa



Born 1946 in Aichi Prefecture. Graduated from Waseda University School of Law. Former chairman and current executive board member of the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics. Research advisor at Kyoto International Manga Museum. Served as part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of Science and Aichi Prefectural University, and as guest professor at Kyoto Seika University. He has been a manga critic since his student years. Gendai manga no zentaizo (“The totality of modern manga,” Joho Center Publishing Co., Ltd., 1986) was a book that revolutionized the existing standards for the critique of manga. He worked to put back in print Hiroshi Hirata’s Chidaruma kenpou – onorera ni tsugu (“Bloody swordsmanship / Warning you,” Seirin Kogeisha, 2004) and has contributed commentary to many manga books. In Da Vinci, a magazine about books and reading, he ran a column series Manga kyo ni tsukeru kusuri (“Medicine for the manga-crazed”) for 17 years, writing 200 editions. In addition to his work as a manga critic, he is also an active social and cultural critic, having published numerous books including Kiken na shisoka (“Dangerous thinkers,” Media Works Inc., 1998), Kotoba no jobi-yaku (“The medicine chest for the language,” Futabasha Publishers Ltd., 2004), Tsugihagi bukkyo nyumon (“Introduction to Buddhism,” Chikumashobo Ltd., 2011), and Gendaijin no rongo (“Analects for modern people,” Bungeishunju Ltd., 2003). His most recent publication is Nihon shugu shakai (“Ignorant crowd in Japanese society,” Shogakukan Inc., 2018). Making frequent appearances on television talk shows, he is known as a prominent controversialist who possesses exhaustive knowledge and an acutely sharp sense of logic.

Reason for Award

Known as a critic with clear, sharp, eloquently-expressed opinions, Kure began his career as a manga critic at an early age. His book Gendai manga no zentaizo (“The totality of modern manga”), in particular, was pioneering writing that elevated the quality of critique of manga, and widely enhanced the awareness that manga, a genre of popular culture, merits criticism and research. Kure also was involved in the 2001 founding of the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics since its inception, and served as the society’s director and as a board member. For many years, Kure has stayed active as a magnetic writer and contributed to the research venue that is this academic society. When we consider the enormous volume of service he offered to the field of manga, this award is probably far overdue. It is with this award, however, that we would like to honor his achievements.