Translated from Mizuki Shigeru’s Twitter Account
Mizuki Shigeru relishes his Double Quarter Pounder from McDonalds this spring afternoon. He eats a bit of burger, then some French Fries. Look how he closes his eyes to savor the flavor.
This picture from Mizuki Shigeru’s Twitter account was too good not to share. The great sensei savoring one of his favorite treats, a McDonald French Fry.
Mizuki Shigeru posts a lot of food pictures. This isn’t really anything amazing–lots of people post food pictures. But after translating Showa: A History of Japan, I have a much better perspective on his absolute adoration of food.
This is a man who almost starved to death, and watched people starve to death all around him when he was stationed on Rabaul island. Food has a deeper meaning to him than I think any of us can understand. One of the lines of Showa that really stood out to me was when his character Nezumi Otoko is explaining the lack of food, and he looks to the audience and says:
“I don’t think you modern readers can really understand how terrible it is, to have no food. Starvation is more than just an empty stomach. Hunger eats away at your soul. You slowly succumb to despair until you can’t see any hope in the world.”
Keep that in mind when you look at this picture. Sure, on the one hand it is a funny picture of a great genius having fun with something as mundane as a McDonald French fry. On the other hand it is a picture of a man who knows more than most people the actual connection between eating and being alive, and who embraces every bite with a gusto we will never know.
Eat well, sensei!
You can pre-order Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan here: