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America (Dargaud, 2007)


Keiko Ichiguchi was born in Osaka, Japan in 1966. As a young girl, she already had a passion for mangas, especially those by Ryoko Takahashi and more generally shojo mangas. As a teenager, she wrote and illustrated stories for fanzines and, while in high school, she travelled all over Japan to attend amateur manga fairs and show her own creations. It was at that time that she started wanting to turn her passion into a job.
In 1988 she entered the prestigious contest organized by the Shogakukan publishing company and was awarded the first prize in the “Beginners” category. She paid for her college studies with the prize money and travelled to Italy (she graduated in Italian from the Osaka foreign languages university). Once recognized for her talent she kept drawing under the pen name Keiko Sakisaka and started working with Shagakukan, for whom she produced various stories first published in the magazine “Bessatsu Shajo Comic” and then compiled in small monographic volumes. At the same period she wrote stories for the radio and that led to a travel column in the young girls’ magazine “Palet”.
Then in 1993 she moved to Bologna where she started working with Kappa editions. Her first work published in Italy is called Au-delà de la Porte. Andrea Baricordi, Massimiliano De Giovanni and Barbara Rossi cooperated in its development. In 1997 Keiko Ichiguchi worked with the Japanese publishing company, Kadansha, and wrote 1945 and America. In 2003 she published a book on the mysteries of Florence (Hakusuisha). As part of her work with Kapa editions she published Vue sur la cour (1999), Deux (2000), Blue (2001), Avec les yeux ouverts (2002), 1945 (2003) and Pourquoi les Japonais ont les yeux bridés (2004). Her new series, Peach !, and Hymne Aux Jeunes Filles were published in the first issue of « Keiko World », a biannual magazine entirely dedicated to Keiko including texts and pictures as well as columns on Japanese traditions.

In french

  • America (Dargaud, 2007)

Summary of America :

By the end of the 1980s Nae wants to become a journalist more than anything and to leave Japan for the country where everything is possible, the United States. Until he is able to fulfill his dream Nae shares his passion for American culture with his friends. Where will the road to America, so near yet so far, lead them, halfway between dream and disappointment ?
America describes the myth of the American Dream for young Japanese people who sometimes regard their traditions as obstacles between them and their dream.
America is especially dear to Keiko Ichiguchi. In this book, she paints an inner portrait of young Japanese’s torments without falling into platitudes yet flirting with realism and tragedy.