Lee Kwan Yew (1923-2015): Always an Influence. Now in Japanese manga.

Lee Kwan Yew (1923-2015) RIP


30 Oct 2016

Oct 27, 2016

A Japanese publisher has launched a 248-page comic book about the life of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister

The story of Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has been told many times, but never as a Japanese manga – until now.

The LKY Story was launched in Singapore on Tuesday by Japanese publisher Shogakukan Asia.

The manga about Mr Lee, who died at the age of 91 in March last year, is the first in the publisher’s planned series of original biographical comics for the Asia-Pacific market.

“We believe that the manga format would also work on a global scale to attract many potential readers and introduce Mr Lee to a wider audience.”

Shogakukan commissioned author Yoshio Nabeta, 53, and illustrator Yoshihide Fujiwara, 50, to work on the manga and they spent 11/2 years on it.

Its 248 pages depict scenes from Mr Lee’s life that would be familiar to most Singaporeans, but they are embellished with dramatic emotions characteristic of Japanese manga.

For instance, when Mr Lee and Malaysian premier Tunku Abdul Rahman shake hands on the separation of their countries in 1965, a single, shiny tear rolls down Mr Lee’s cheek and splashes on his hand.

Published on Oct 26, 2016

Japanese illustrator Yoshihide Fujiwara, 50, inking in the lines on a sketch of a young Lee Kuan Yew that was drawn from memory.

9h9 hours ago

Mr Lee Kuan Yew ― now manga hero


SINGAPORE, Oct 30 ― For Yoshio Nabeta, the Japanese author of the first manga-style biographical comic book on Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, it was the similarities between Japanese and Singapore culture which made the publication easy to work on.

The non-fiction and manga writer told TODAY: “This is a fictional comic based on historic events, so I have to imagine what Mr Lee Kuan Yew has said, how the other characters responded – all this have to come from me since I am the author. If this book had been about someone from a culture I have never known and is very far from my own culture, I would have found it very difficult. However, Singaporeans have a lot of similarities with Japanese people so it was easy for me to imagine how Mr Lee would have felt.”

The writer, 53, went pointed out one big similarity — Singaporeans are very serious people just like Japanese.

Singaporean Amos Yee, 17, creator of the video celebrating the death of Lee Kwan Yew.




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