Tormented grade schooler didn’t have to look far for proof that someday things could be better.
While many of Japan’s most successful manga creators handle both the artwork and story for their projects, Kazuo Koike is an exception, in that he’s strictly a writer, having crafted the plots to classics including Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood, and Crying Freeman.
But Koike doesn’t just write memorable manga, but memorable tweets as well. The 80-year-old has embrace social media in a big way, sending out several messages a day on topics as diverse as the otaku lifestyle and whether or not you should eat the rice that’s part of nigiri-style sushi.
Recently, though, Koike had something to say about a topic that’s much more serious, as he sent out this tweet regarding youth suicide.
小池一夫 (@koikekazuo) September 08, 2016
“This is something a young acquaintance of mine told me. ‘When I was in elementary school, I was severely bullied by my classmates, but I never, ever thought of comitting suicide. The reason is that my parents get along so well, and always looked like they were having so much fun together, that I understood that when I grew up, there would be a lot of happy things in my life.’
Koike went on to add, “I believe that not just moms and dads, but everyone in the older generations, has a duty to show that life can be fun.”
Given that austere earnestness has long been held up as an ideal in Japanese businesses and schools, this is a refreshingly positive spin to put on personal enjoyment, especially coming from someone old enough that he grew up in postwar Japan and lived through the heady, monetary-focused days of the Bubble Economy. But Koike has long been an advocate of finding something that stirs your passions, and as his friend’s story shows, an understanding that it’s okay to be happy is often what gives our lives meaning.