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Takashi Nemoto

Takashi Nemoto

Birth Place: Tokyo, Japan
Birthday: June 28, 1958
Family name: 根本
Given name: 敬
Takashi Nemoto is an avant-garde and underground mangaka, working since the 1980s. He published his first works in the underground magazine Garo from 1981, and remained one of the main contributors to the magazine in the years that followed. Nemoto established himself as a leading figure in Japanese underground comics and culture, often called "the President of Tokusyu-manga". His most famous character is 'Toukishi Murata'.

Takashi Nemoto was born in a Tokyo suburb in 1958 and has been drawing since childhood. His themes and obsessions seem to have remained remarkably consistent: one of his first manga stories from around the 3rd grade showed Emperor Hirohito getting beaten up at the public baths and in the end being forced to shit in his pants. Bored and uninspired by the current popular manga that was all around him - and unaware of the innovations taking place in the underground - Nemoto quit drawing at age thirteen. It took the chance discovery of Terry Johnson's "Jonetsu no Penguin Gohan" in the late seventies to rekindle his enthusiasm for manga. He has since taken to the medium with a vengeance. Since his first published piece in 1980, Nemoto has become on of the underground art world's most prolific stars, producing a small library of novel-sized compilations of his work for Garo, as well as designing CD jackets and regularly contributing drawings and single-page strips to some of Japan's slicker music and pop-culture magazines. Nemoto has also brought his outsider's vision to the exploration of other art forms: he has published a collection of his collage works, plays in a Tokyo "noise" band, and hosts his own cable-access TV show, "Funky Tomatoes." And, along with cultural critic Manabu Yuasa, he has coauthorted two volumes of Deep Korea, a landmark study of South Korean street culture.

Nemoto Takashi aims to be as vulgar as possible. The plethora of puking, pissing, crapping, and rape at first suggest an oeuvre of juvenile fixations. However, in Nemoto's work, adjection is aggressively political and should be seen as an all-out assault, launched at the height of the economic bubble, against Japanese family and work values, and against notions of national and racial pride. He is one of the original heta-uma -- "bad good" -- an aesthetic of de-skilling and crassness that first emerged in Garo in the late 1970s and has been closely associated with Nemoto ever since his first contribution to the magazine in 1980. His most famous and controversial work, Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby (1990), was published in English in 2008 by PictureBox Inc. In addition to being a prolific manga author, Nemoto is also a noted collector and connoisseur of blues and enka records, and frequently publishes diaristic essays deadling with various low-brow topics, main amongst them the degenerate life and times of the urban lumpen and homeless.

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