Hirokane Kenshi Oj

[born: 9 Sep 1947, Yamaguchi-prefecture, Iwakuni; bloodtype: ?]

Graduated from Waseda University with a law degree. Worked in the advertising department of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. for four years. He made his debut in 1974 when his work "Kaze Kaoru" was nominated for the Shogakukan Big Comic Award.

A lot of Hirokane's works are critical of the society we live in. He addresses problems that we have to deal with, as we see in all of his works. His wife is Saimon Fumi, who is also a manga artist, famous for the original works of art for smash TV hits like Toukyou Love Story.

His work "Like Shooting Stars in the Twilight" won the Big Comic Original Award. He has also won the 30th Shogakukan Manga Award and the 15th Koudansha Manga Award.

Kachou Shima Kousaku
serialized on Morning, 1986-92
17 volumes @ Y500
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Kousaku Shima is a section chief of the Electronic Giant Hatsushiba. He gets involved with a lot of women, conspiracy inside the company, while he goes up and down the corporate ladder. Written in a span of nine years from 1982 to 1991, Kosaku Shima's character gradually changes from that of a normal, ambitious salaryman in the beginning as he emerges in the end to become a sort of a "super salaryman," a typical stereotype of the Japanese businessman. It has been made into a movie starring Toshihiko Tahara. {KMU}

Buchou Shima Kousaku
serialized on Morning,
13 volumes @ Y505
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Sequel to Kachou Shima Kousaku.

Ningen Kousaten [Human Scramble]
written by Yajima Masao
serialized on Shougakukan, 1985-91
27 volumes @ Y500
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A collection of short episodes of small incidents in everyday life. It is supposed to make us think about things we rarely notice in today's information society. Literally, the title means Human Crossroads. {KMU}

Review from the defunct mangajin magazine in which this series was featured a few times, which we here reproduce:
"Yajima Masao and Hirokane Kenshi found success in the manga world by largely ignoring the standard formulas. In Ningen Kousaten, they provide few exotic locations, minimal sex and violence, and no continuing characters. Instead, they have built a remarkable collection of stories about "crossroads" in the lives of humans. The subtitle, Human Scramble, is a reference to the "scramble intersections" in which all vehicular traffic is stopped and pedestrians may cross in any direction; the human crossroads they write about have the same quality of randomness. The drawings are realistic, presenting modern Japan with all its beauty and warts. Readers recognize their own home towns - thanks to the uniformity of Japan's post-war development - and they treasure these scenes now that middleclass neighborhoods are slowly being replaced by huge blocks of danchi. An aura of impending loss is ever-present in the series. Each story in the series is self-contained and usually revolves around ordinary people muddling through life the best they can. They are easy to recognize and to identify with, and the fact that they are drawn as real Japanese - no huge round blue eyes and no exaggerated features - adds to the feeling of everyday reality.
In Japan, every person has two distinct sides: tatemae (the public face) and honne (the true inner feelings), which remain hidden to all but one's closest friends. Ningen Kousaten deals with honne, giving an honest look at an emotional side of the Japanese that few outsiders ever see. The stories often start with a memory of an incident from the past. Although they are usually downbeat in tone, they also tend to be ultimately reassuring, reminding us that there can be small victories amid the vicissitudes of life. If there is recognition of the fact that one does not always win, at least there is the hope of being able to live with what one has."

Haroo hari Nezumi
serialized on Young Magazine, 1984-89
24 volumes @ Y500
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The main character is the assistant of a private eye. He gets involved with political scandals, corporate conspiracies, etc. (This title was on a hiatus while Hirokane was working on other manga.) {KMU}

Last News
written by Inose Naoki
serialized on Big Comic,
10 volumes @ Y500
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Last News is a 10 minute TV show that focuses on one event that happened on a particular day... It searches through to show what really happened, suggesting what the incidents we see every day could be like underneath. {KMU}

Kaji Ryuusuke no Gi [Kaji Ryuusuke's Agenda]
written by Inose Naoki
serialized on Mr. Magazine,
20 volumes @ Y500
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"Overcome by scandals time after time, Japanese politicians are shameful creatures. However, not all of them became politicians to get fortune. In fact, most of them in the beginning must have had an ambition to make the country into a better one. Yes, we must admit that we have a dark side in Japanese politics. However, I also wanted to focus on the good parts we have in Japanese politics today." So said Hirokane on some TV show as he was introducing this story. Kaji Ryuusuke, a son of a famous Japanese politician, undergoes the hardship of becoming a Member of the Diet after claiming a mandate as his father's heir - in ultra-conservative Kagoshima Prefecture. {KMU}

Mukoujou [Dream Factory]
written by Yamasaki Juuzou
serialized on Action, 1989
7 volumes @ Y533
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No Synopsis.

Like Shooting Stars in the Twilight
serialized on Big Comic Special,
1 volume @ Y?
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Winner of the "2000 (The Fourth) Media Arts Festival award of Excellence". Reasons for this award are (excerpted from site): "As Japanese society continues to age, how will the people facing the twilight of their lives continue to live? A new drug, Paraiso, that let's you see wonderful dreams as it kills you, husband and wife swapping clubs... the artist makes liberal use of realistic settings while lightly expressing depressing themes. You can sense the artist's experience and skill in this work that pioneers a new Manga style."

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Maintained by Peter Van Huffel, 1/17/2004