Japanese Illustrator Creates Comics Inspired By Svetlana Alexievich’s Book

Keito Koume, 小梅けいと, a Japanese manga artist and illustrator, has started working on a comics book inspired by The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich.

Koume studied at Kyoto University and has been drawing manga professionally since 2000. In addition to drawing series type manga, he also regularly produces erotic manga one-shots.

Late April he published the first chapter (about laundry maids) of his comics story he started to draw after he read The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich.

The Unwomanly Face of War Alexievich Keito Koume

Photo: comic-walker.com

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories.

Nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers battled alongside men. Alexievich traveled thousands of miles to record these women’s stories.

The artist first heard about the Belarusian writer four years ago when she won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her globally admired book Second-Hand Time.

The Unwomanly Face of War Alexievich Keito Koume

Photo: comic-walker.com

According to Koume, Alexievich’s books are more popular with the intellectual elite in Japan rather than with the wide public. Explaining why he decided to draw this manga, he said:

“I feel that it is highly meaningful for people to learn how the war was portrayed respectively by women during wartime, the countries that won the war and also by the Communist bloc.

There were also many women in Japan who were not soldiers during WWII but shared a similar experience. male’s point-of-view of war alone could not fully capture the impact of war on society. 

Speaking about the war from the perspective of the Japanese, he says that “it is a scar on our hearts, many learned about it directly from their parents and relatives who remember them pretty well. 

Keito Koume has never been to Belarus but would like to visit it one day particularly to try draniki. And he is not the first tourist willing to come to the country in search of gastro experiences.

BelarusFeed has recently taken a couple from Argentina to a gastro tour around authentic Minsk spots and canteens and tasted budget food that many locals wouldn’t risk to eat 🙂