Kiyoi is the name given to the boy by his new teacher, the famous cartoonist Noro Shinpei. But Master Noro will pass on much more than a nickname to Kiyoi, a thirteen-year-old living in Tokyo after World War II. His time as apprentice to the great artist will be one of growing independence, self-realization, and a new understanding of the world around him. And oh, the sights, sounds, and people of Kiyoi's apprenticeship! There is the shrewd and restless Tokida, a fellow apprentice whose involvement in political protests is eye-opening. There is Mr. Kubota, the karate teacher, who introduces Kiyoi to a starling and strange aspect of Tokyo's nightlife. There are drawing classes with nude models, a crush on an unapproachable girl from school and a surprising new camaraderie with another, family tensions and complications, and an unexpected, provocative letter from Kiyoi's estranged father. Based on Allen Say's own boyhood in Japan, this is a rich and remarkable novel. The story of a budding artist and his steps toward self-reliance, Kiyoi's tale is also one of the fragile beauty of human relationships -- of family loyalty, of friendship, and of the special bond between a mentor and his student.
This hardback book is new. The dust jacket has edge wear and is price-clipped.