Junji Ito: Who is he and why do I get biology papers when I google him?

I announced awhile back that I planned on following up my 30 Days to a Better Man series with a 30 Days to a Better Woman series (find that announcement here). Things have gotten complicated. By the time I finish the 30 Days to a Better Man series it will be the beginning of May and I will not have 30 days left to become a better woman before I leave for the summer (which I already talked about here). So that series will either start at the end of August or begin in May and end in August. It will all depend on the new participant on this series: my sister (at least I hope so because she hasn’t said yes yet). The plan is she will do the activity during the day, we’ll talk about it that night and I’ll ghost write about it the next day. So there will be a delay of a day between each post.

Now, a new series starts today and will probably end only if one of these things happen: a. I die (each letter in that phrase has a song link so enjoy) b. I lose the ability to write c. I get tired of posting on here and this blog falls into obscurity d. the Apocolypse occurs e. the unlikely instance of me running out of things to babble about. This series will feature a different topic for each post and will be tied together by the fact that each topic is about something I love. This includes places to eat, films, books, people, video games and other various topics I haven’t thought of yet. I’m sure from the title of this blog it was evident that this type of posting would arrive on the scene rather soon, so I’m sure none of you are surprised by this series. I’ve decided to call it Trivial Matters. Not because the subject matter is trivial but rather the fact that they interest me and why they interest me are trivial topics. I plan on using this series to get this blog through the summer rather than force myself to find a topic each week at random.

Warning: Graphic and Frightening Images to Follow

When I was a sophomore in high school I became the empty shell of human being constantly in search of a way to feel anything meaningful in my daily life. I thus turned to the internet which I’ve come to realize is often ruled by people who are in search of a way to feel anything meaningful in their daily lives. Don’t worry about my mental health (it’s beyond saving), I’m only being half-serious. Anyway, I would basically use the internet for one thing: horror. I watched horror let’s plays, I read creepypasta, I read Junji Ito. I discovered him while looking for something more substantial than creepypasta jeff the killer fanfic which was all the rage at the time. I forget exactly how I found it, but I came across his series “Uzumaki” which has become one of my favorite books (that I love to mortify other people with). Uzumaki is a haunting tale/manga about a small Japanese seaside town that is haunted not by ghosts but by the concept and design of a spiral (which is what Uzumaki translates to). It sounds dumb, but just check out some of the art from the book:

It’s disturbing. It’s been about five years since I first read this and it still haunts me and I don’t consider myself to have a weak constitution, but Junji Ito has a way of breaking me down. A majority of his writing could be classified as body horror especially since he has the disturbing skill of contorting and managing the human body in ways it was never meant to be shown doing. HE HAS A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE SEWING THEMSELVES INTO HUMAN WEBS!! I’ve said before that I am a huge fan of horror. I have entire shelves haunted schooldevoted solely to horror novels and films. The first chapter book I read was a Goosebumps book, this one specifically:

So finding Ito was a blessing. I love his books and art. They mesh so well and they deliver effective and masterful horror tones and themes. Ito constantly writes about the common human and the randomness of true horror. He also loves to cover the ferocity of the human psyche and the dangers that lie in the mind of every person. Uzumaki is going to stand for my example of these themes. The main characters are Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito. Neither of them stands out or seem specifically special in any regard yet they remain the story’s protagonists. Kirie literally stands at the center of the story not only because she is the lead protagonist, but also because she may literally lie at the center of the curse of the town. Her boyfriend is the first to notice the effects of the curse and his family is the first to be affected by it. Also, Kirie is consistently involved in various events related to the curse and also stands as the focal point of these events (examples: the hurricane, her hair, her time in the hospital, the row house). But the commonplace nature of both Kirie and Shuichi creates a more realistic bond between the reader and the story. It is largely because they are innocent and average people that the reader feels a deep desire for their survival. They have done nothing wrong to deserve the suffering that overtakes their lives. This could be said about a majority of the characters in many of his stories. Although there are exceptions to this innocent human rule. Such examples would be Kirie’s teacher, Mr. Yokota, and her family’s neighbor, Mr. Wakabayashi, both of whom fall victim to the curse after they break a norm of polite or moral society. They are not dangerous directly because of the curse (which is most likely a contributor), but rather because of their unbecoming attitudes. Ito is capable of writing strong stories filled with memorable and distinct characters that liven his books up from the moment that character enters stage right, so to speak. I love Ito and I think he doesn’t get enough attention from both the mainstream audience or the academic world which I liken to a human tragedy. I implore you to at least check out his books and peek around the internet. I’ve discovered you can find a few of his works (most likely illegally) posted for free on different sites if you just put a little effort into looking. A few of my favorites are The Thing that Drifted Ashore, The Window Next Door, Gyo and Army of One. Also, I get biology papers from Junji Ito the scientist before Junji Ito the manga author because my Ito isn’t famous enough yet.

A little bit of a fanboy for Junji Ito,

Aartrium

TRIVIAL MATTERS #1

All that good photo stuff:

Uzumaki1- https://www.reddit.com/r/creepy/comments/3dbh8z/scene_from_chapter_1_of_junji_itos_uzumaki_spiral/

Uzumaki 2 – http://www.panelpatter.com/2015/05/the-maddening-spirals-of-junji-itos.html

Uzumaki 3- https://www.youtube.com/watchv=THVNN5AgJeE&ab_channel=CodeProvider

Uzumaki 4 – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/557531628841884369/

Goosebumps – http://goosebumps.wikia.com/wiki/The_Haunted_School

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