If you follow the Illustrator’s Lounge on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen us mention the latest exhibition being held at the House of Illustration, Shojo Manga: The World of Japanese Girls’ Comics. Shojo is manga aimed at a teenage female readership (shojo literally means “young woman”). Shojo Manga will be the first major exhibition of the genre in the UK. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to look at one of the pioneers of shojo and a highlight of the exhibition, Keiko Takemiya.
Takemiya was born in 1950 in Tokushima, Japan. She began drawing manga while still in middle-school, though kept it secret from her parents. At 17-years-old, she submitted “Kokonotsu no yujo” (Nine Friendships) to Mushi Pro’s COM magazine and received a Newcomer Award. One year later, in 1968, she made her debuted in Margaret magazine with the award-winning story “Ringo no tsumi” (Apple’s Sin).