By Kuniko Tsurita July 17, 2020
—Translated from the Japanese by Ryan Holmberg
Kuniko Tsurita was born in 1947 in Japan. In 1965, at age eighteen, while still in high school, she debuted in the legendary alt-manga monthly Garo, where she was the magazine’s first and only regular female contributor until the late seventies. Tsurita’s early work reflects her interest in bohemian youth culture, while her later work is more surreal and dystopian, with influences ranging from modern French literature to the manga of her peers in Garo, including Yoshiharu Tsuge, Seiichi Hayashi, and Shigeru Mizuki, for whom she worked as an assistant for a short time in the late sixties. In 1973, Tsurita was diagnosed with lupus, at which point specters of death began to heavily shadow her work. She died in 1985 at age thirty-seven.
Ryan Holmberg is an arts and comics historian. He has edited and translated books by Seiichi Hayashi, Osamu Tezuka, Sasaki Maki, Tadao Tsuge, Yoshiharu Tsuge, and others.
The Sky Is Blue with a Single Cloud, by Kuniko Tsurita, translated by Ryan Holmberg, was published earlier this month. Excerpt courtesy of Drawn & Quarterly.