Japan's beloved literary masterpiece brought to life in manga form Soseki Natsume's comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society in early 20th century Tokyo. Written with biting wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a rather cynical stray kitten. He finds his way into the home of an English teacher, where his running commentary on the follies and foibles of the people around him has been making readers laugh for more than a century. This is the very first manga edition in English of this classic piece of Japanese literature. The story lends itself well to a graphic novel format, allowing readers to pick up on the more subtle cues of the expressive cat, while also being immersed in the world of his perceptive narration. It is true to classic manga form, and is read back to front. The cast of characters includes:
- Kushami--His master, who is not good at his job and quite stupid
- The Kenedas--A conceited couple with a spoiled daughter
- Meitei--Kushami's friend who is fond of jokes and tall tales
- A group of local cats including lovely Mikeko, and violent Kuro
Beautifully illustrated by Japanese artist Chiroru Kobato, this edition provides a visual, entertaining look at a unique period in Japan's history--filled with cultural and societal changes, rapid modernization and a feeling of limitless possibility--through the eyes of an unlikely narrator.
About the Author
Soseki Natsume (1867-1916) is considered the most significant writer in modern Japanese history (he is sometimes called the Japanese Mark Twain). Soseki was born in Tokyo and, upon graduating from Tokyo University, worked as an English teacher in a small provincial town. He was sent to London for three years by the Japanese government in 1900 on the first English literary scholarship, where he developed a love for Shakespeare and Dickens. Returning to take up a position at Tokyo University, Soseki began his writing career with Botchan, one of his most famous works, along with I Am a Cat and Kokoro. He is the only Japanese author referred to by his personal name (Soseki) and not his family name (Natsume), and his image appears on the Japanese 1,000 yen note. Zack Davisson is an award-winning translator, writer and folklorist. He is the author of Yurei: The Japanese Ghost, Yokai Stories and Kaibyo: The Supernatural Cats of Japan, and the translator of Leiji Matsumoto's Space Battleship Yamato, Go Nagai's Devilman, and Shigeru Mizuki's Kitaro. He was nominated for the 2014 Japanese-US Friendship Commission Translation Prize for his translation of the multiple Eisner award-winning Showa: A History of Japan. He has lectured on translation, manga and folklore at Duke University, UCLA, and University of Washington, as well as contributed to exhibitions at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He has been featured on NPR, BBC, and The New York Times, and has written for Metropolis, The Comics Journal, and Weird Tales Magazine. Retold and illustrated by Chiroru Kobato, a Japanese artist. Kobato's manga adaptation of Soseki's masterpiece brings Japan's most popular novel to life while fully preserving its wit and wisdom.