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|Occupation||Writer, penciller, inker, manga artist|
Junji Ito (Japanese: 伊藤 潤二, Hepburn: Itō Junji, born July 31, 1963) is a Japanese horror mangaka. Some of his most notable works include Tomie, a series chronicling an immortal girl who drives her stricken admirers to madness; Spiral Into Horror Uzamaki, a three-volume series about a town obsessed with spirals; and Gyo, a two-volume story where fish are controlled by a strain of sentient bacteria called "the death stench." His other works include Itou Junji Kyoufu Manga Collection, a collection of different short stories including a series of stories named Souichi's Journal of Delights, and Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, a self-parody about him and his wife living in a house with two cats. Ito's work has developed a substantial cult following, with some deeming him a significant figure in recent horror iconography.
Life and career
Junji Itō was born on 31 July 1963 in Sakashita, now a part of Nakatsugawa, Gifu. He began his experience in the horror world at a very young age; his two older sisters would read Kazuo Umezu and Shinichi Koga in magazines, and consequently, he began reading them too. He grew up in the countryside, in a small city next to Nagano. In the house where he lived, the bathroom was at the end of an underground tunnel, where there were spider crickets. Such experiences were later reflected in his works.
In 1987, he submitted a short story to Gekkan Halloween (月刊ハロウィン, lit. Monthly Halloween) that won an honorable mention in the Kazuo Umezu Prize (with Umezu himself as one of the judges). This story was later serialized as Tomie.
Film director Guillermo del Toro cited on his official Twitter account that Ito was originally a collaborator for the video game Silent Hills, of which both Del Toro and game designer Hideo Kojima were the main directors. However, a year after its announcement, the project was canceled by Konami, the IP's owner. Itō and Del Toro would later lend their likenesses to Kojima's next project, Death Stranding.
In 2006, Junji married Ayako Ishiguro (石黒亜矢子), a picture book artist. As of 2013, they have two children.
Inspiration and themes
In addition to Kazuo Umezu, Itō has cited Hideshi Hino, Shinichi Koga, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Edogawa Ranpo and H. P. Lovecraft as being major influences on his work. The universe Itō depicts is cruel and capricious; his characters often find themselves victims of malevolent unnatural circumstances for no discernible reason or punished out of proportion for minor infractions against an unknown and incomprehensible natural order. Some of the recurring themes of Itō's work include jealousy, envy, body horror, seemingly ordinary characters who begin to act out of irrational compulsion, the breakdown of society, deep-sea organisms, and the inevitability of one's demise, all displayed through a realistic and simple design, which emphasizes the contrast between beauty and death. The events narrated are unpredictable and violent, and arise from normal situations. Itō has also cited H. R. Giger, Salvador Dali, and others as influences on his work as well.
Tomie was inspired by the death of one of his classmates. Ito felt strange that a boy he knew suddenly disappeared from the world, and he kept expecting the boy to show up again; from this came the idea of a girl who is supposed to have died but then just shows up as if nothing had happened. Gyo was influenced by his anti-war feelings, developed when he was a child, due to his parents' tragic and frightening war stories. “The Hanging Balloons” was based on a childhood dream.
- The Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection (collects stories from Halloween, ComicsOne, English editions have flipped pages):
- Volume 1 and 2: Tomie (富江) (does not include Tomie: Again, English: 2001, ISBN 978-1-58899-084-6 and ISBN 1-58899-085-0, respectively)
- Volume 3: Flesh-Colored Horror (肉色の怪, Nikuiro no Kai) (English: 2001, ISBN 1-58899-086-9)
- Volume 4: The Face Burglar (顔泥棒)
- Volume 5: Souichi's Diary of Delights (双一の楽しい日記, Souichi no Tanoshi i Nikki)
- Volume 6: Souichi's Diary of Curses (双一の呪い日記)
- Volume 7: Slug Girl (なめくじの少女)
- Volume 8: Blood-bubble Bushes (血玉樹)
- Volume 9: Hallucinations (首幻想)
- Volume 10: House of the Marionettes (あやつりの屋敷)
- Volume 11: The Town Without Streets (道のない街)
- Volume 12: The Bully (いじめっ娘)
- Volume 13: The Circus is Here (サーカスが来た)
- Volume 14: The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel (トンネルの奇譚)
- Volume 15: Lovesick Dead (死びとの恋わずらい)
- Volume 16: Frankenstein (フランケンシュタイン)
- Uzumaki (うずまき) (VIZ, 2001, ISBN 978-1-56931-714-3)
- Museum of Terror (恐怖博物館, Kyōfu Hakubutsukan) (collects stories from Halloween in order of publication, Asahi Sonorama, first 3 volumes translated into English by Dark Horse Comics)
- Volume 1 and 2: Tomie (富江) (Volume 2 includes Tomie: Again, Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72159-8 and ISBN 978-4-257-72160-4, Dark Horse, 2006, ISBN 978-1-59307-542-2 and ISBN 978-1-59307-612-2, respectively)
- Volume 3: The Long Hair in the Attic (屋根裏の長い髪, Yaneura no nagai kami) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72164-2, Dark Horse, 2006, ISBN 978-1-59307-639-9)
- Volume 4: Kakashi (案山子) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72169-7, 2007 ISBN 978-4-02-267008-3)
- Volume 5: Rojiura (路地裏) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72173-4)
- Volume 6: Sōichi no katte na noroi (双一の勝手な呪い) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72177-2)
- Volume 7: Umeku haisuikan (うめく配水管) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72179-6)
- Volume 8: Shirosunamura chitan (白砂村血譚) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72184-0)
- Volume 9: Oshikiri idan (押切異談&フランケンシュタイン) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 978-4-257-72187-1)
- Volume 10: Shibito no Koi Wazurai (死びとの恋わずらい) (Asahi Sonorama, 2003, ISBN 978-4-257-72191-8)
- Gyo (ギョ) includes two bonus stories: The Sad Tale of the Principal Post (大黒柱悲話, Daikokubashira Hiwa) and The Enigma of Amigara Fault (阿弥殻断層の怪, Amigara Dansō no Kai) (VIZ: 2003, ISBN 978-1-56931-995-6)
- Mimi's Ghost Stories (ミミの怪談, Mimi no Kaidan) (Media Factory: 2003, ISBN 978-4-84010-484-5) (adapted from Shin-Mimi-Bukuro (新耳袋) by Hirokatsu Kihara)
- Remina (地獄星レミナ, Jigokusei Remina) (Shogakukan: 2005, ISBN 978-4-09186-083-5)
- Voices in the Dark (闇の声, Yami no Koe) (Asahi Sonorama, 2007, ISBN 978-4-02213-023-5)
- New Voices in the Dark (新・闇の声 潰談, Shin Yami no Koe Kaidan) (Asahi Sonorama, 2007, ISBN 978-4-02213-024-2)
- Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (猫日記 よん&むー, Neko Nikki Yon to Mū) (Kodansha: 2009, ISBN 978-4-06337-664-7)
- Black Paradox (ブラックパラドクス, Burakku Paradokusu) (Shogakukan: 2009, ISBN 978-4-09182-532-2)
- Rasputin the Patriot (憂国のラスプーチン, Yuukoku no Rasputin) (Shogakukan: 2010, ISBN 978-4-09183-610-6)
- Fragments of Horror (魔の断片, Ma no Kakera) (VIZ: 2015, ISBN 978-1-4215-8079-1)
- Dissolving Classroom (溶解教室, Yōkai Kyoushitsu) (Vertical Inc.: 2017, ISBN 978-1-94299-385-8)
- Shiver (VIZ: 2017, ISBN 978-1-42159-693-8)
- Smashed (collection that includes: Yami no Koe and Shin Yami no Koe Kaidan) (VIZ: 2019, ISBN 978-1-42159-846-8)
- Sensor (センサー, Sensa) (Asahi Sonorama, 2019, ISBN 978-4-02214-284-9)
- No Longer Human (人間失格, Ningen Shikkaku) (VIZ: 2020, ISBN 978-1-97470-709-6)
- Venus in the Blind Spot (collection that includes: The Human Chair, Venus in the Blind Spot, The Licking Woman, Keepsake, and more) (VIZ: 2020)
- Specials and One Shots
- Phantom Mansion
- Demons Voice
- Fixed Face
- Ghost Heights Management Association
- Human Chair
- Junji Ito's Dog Diary
- Junji Ito's Snow White
- Mountain of Gods
- Ribs Woman
- She is a Slow Walker (I Am a Hero spinoff)
- The Summer Time Graduation Trip
- Umezz Kazuo & Me
- Youkai Kyoushitsu
Tomie was adapted into a series of films, beginning in 1999. Several other works of Ito's have subsequently been adapted for film and television:
- The Fearsome Melody – (戦慄の旋律 Senritsu no Senritsu), 1992
- Tomie – (富江 Tomie), 1998
- Tomie: Another Face – (富江:アナザフェイス Tomie: Anaza Feisu), 1999
- Tomie: Replay – ( 富江:re-play Tomie: re-play), 2000
- Uzumaki – (うずまき Uzumaki), 2000
- Gravemarker Town – (墓標の町 Bohyou no Machi), 2000
- The Face Burglar- (顔泥棒 Kao Dorobou), 2000
- The Hanging Balloons – (首吊り気球 Kubitsuri no Kikyuu), 2000
- Long Dream – (長い夢 Nagai Yume), 2000
- Oshikiri – (押切 Oshikiri), 2000
- Kakashi – (案山子 Kakashi), 2001
- Lovesick Dead (also known as Love Ghost) – (死びとの恋わずらい Shibito no Koiwazurai), 2001
- Tomie: Re-birth – (富江:Rebirth Tomie: Rebirth), 2001
- Tomie: The Final Chapter – Forbidden Fruit – (富江 最終章 ?禁断の果実 Tomie: Saishuu-sh? – Kindan no Kajitsu), 2002
- Marronnier – (マロニエ Marronnier), 2002
- The Groaning Drain – (うめく排水管), 2004
- Tomie: Beginning, 2005
- Tomie: Revenge, 2005
- Tomie vs Tomie, 2007
- Tomie Unlimited, 2011
- Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack, 2012
- Junji Ito Collection, 2018
- Uzumaki, 2022
- "Interview: Horror Manga Mastermind Junji Ito". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
- "An Interview With Master of Horror Manga Junji Ito (Full Length Version)". Grape Japan. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
- Iwane, Akiko (October 1998). "The Junji Ito Interview: A conversation with the creator of Uzumaki". Davinch. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Urasawa Naoki no Manben: Itō Junji (S4E2, 2017), NHK Educational TV
- "伊藤潤二、佐藤優原作で鈴木宗男事件のドロドロ裏側描く". Natalie (in Japanese). July 27, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- McWhertor, Michael (September 27, 2015). "Silent Hills had another awesome creative talent: horror manga master Junji Ito". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- "Every Death Stranding Cameo in the game and where to find them". GamesRadar. November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
- "Eisner Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Nomura, Chie (January 9, 2012). "ホラー漫画家・伊藤潤二先生インタビュー / 人気作品『富江』『うずまき』を生んだ奇才" [Horror cartoonist / Professor Junji Ito interview / popular work "Tomie" "Uzumaki"]. RocketNews24.com (in Japanese). Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Ito, Junji (October 16, 2007) . Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Viz Media. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-4215-1389-8.
- Thacker, Eugene (January 30, 2016). "Black illumination: the unhuman world of Junji Itō". The Japan Times. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Vizmedia, "Drawing Inspired by "Enigma of Amigara Fault" from Junji Ito | VIZ," YouTube (August 28, 2020), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e20D5_5DhOM
- Kyōfu Hakubutsukan at WorldCat
- Museum of Terror at Dark Horse Comics
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 13, 2016). "Vertical Licenses Blame!, Dissolving Classroom, Immortal Hounds Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Fantasista (February 22, 2018). "The Horrifyingly Beautiful Junji Itō : Collection Exhibit at ACG_Labo - Manga Planet". Manga Planet. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Milligan, Mercedes (September 2, 2019). "Adult Swim Teams with Production I.G for Junji Ito Adaptation 'Uzumaki'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Junji Ito.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Junji Ito|
- Junji Ito at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Junji Ito at IMDb
- English Fansite
- Into the Spiral: A Conversation with Japanese Horror Maestro Junji Ito, 78 Magazine, February–March 2006
- 13 Extremely Disturbing Junji Ito Panels
- The Horrifyingly Beautiful Junji Itō : Collection Exhibit at ACG_Labo