I have a long essay about KAMIMURA Kazuo’s Dousei Jidai in TCJ #295. It’s a sprawling, messy romance from the early 70s about two youths who move to Tokyo to chase their dreams.
And shack up. For 2000 pages.
It if sounds like Red-Colored Elegy, you’re right. The title means “The Age of Cohabitation,” more or less, and it reads not a little like an editor “encouraged” Kamimura to catch Elegy‘s wave. But it’s his own work, probably his best, and he knew how to work a page.
Notes, contexts, sources:
- Kamimura’s Official Site, with scant English and ample images.
- Two Kamimura stories: “Belt-Man” (Obi no Otoko), about a man who really likes belts; and “Kanto Plain” (Kantou Heiya), which showcases his landscape. Japanese only, but quite readable.
- A YouTube video with the original hit song based on the manga. Why don’t more books have theme songs? Someone should work on this.
- An utterly creaky new version, with OSHIDA Reiko standing in front of a big drawing of Kyoko & Jiro. It’s funny how quickly youth culture turns into nostalgia– Dousei Jidai still has an edge, I’d say, just like Nouvelle Vague films, despite the dust
- YouTube also had a clip from the DJ movie that was an utter scream– sub-Suzuki Seijun artsy-pink– but Shochiku complained, and here we are. (The TV drama’s still up, but unwatchable.)
- Lambiek’s spare KK page has one of the signature images from the book, at least
Kamimura died in 1986, rather young.
He worked often with the writer of Lone Wolf & Cub, and their book Lady Snowblood was issued in English by Dark Horse. He also had TANIGUCHI Jiro as an assitant, who’s won quite a few Western fans. I far prefer Kamimura, whose line & stories are more ragged, sentimental, and beautiful.
Finally, some online Japanese articles I consulted: