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The surprising thing about Ko Yano’s biography of Kenji Miyazawa is not that he’s done it in the form of a comic book, but rather that this manga biography appears to be the only book-length life of Miyazawa available in English.

The lack of a substantial non-manga biography of a writer who occupies an important place in the Japanese literary firmament is startling when one considers that there are at least two English-language biographies of Yukio Mishima, a writer much less read, and certainly much less loved, by his countrymen. It’s as if there were two biographies of Hubert Selby, Jr. bookstores, but none of Robert Frost.

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