The Century of the Black Ships from Viz

Filed under: Press Releases — S. @ 1:41 am






Painstakingly Researched And Written By The Vice Governor Of Tokyo Examines How Japanese Popular Literature Shaped Public Opinion And Helped Move The Country Into The Modern Era 


San Francisco, CA, May 18, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has published a notable nonfiction book that presents an unconventional view of Japanese-U.S. relations. The Century of the Black Ships is available now and was written by one of Japan’s most preeminent academics, Naoki Inose, who is also current Vice Governor of Tokyo. The Century of the Black Ships carries an MSRP of $27.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN.


Meticulously researched, the new book offers insights from a variety of Japanese writers that gave voice to the anxieties of a nation headed towards war. Not just any war, but one that would eventually be fought against the United States. Beginning when U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry first sailed into Tokyo Bay with his fleet of so-called “Black Ships” in 1853 and demanded Japan open itself to the West, Japanese novelists and military analysts, along with select foreign counterparts, wrote extensively of the coming conflict, creating a massive body of popular works through which Japan would debate its own passage, however violently, into the modern, globalized era. Many of these opinions have rarely been read outside Japan until now.


“Naoki Inose is one of Japan’s most acclaimed nonfiction writers and we look forward to those interested in the Second World War, Japan-U.S. relations, and Asian geo-politics discovering this insightful new edition that presents a new view of the events that led to the greatest military conflict in modern history,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media.


Naoki Inose was awarded the prestigious Ōya Prize for nonfiction in 1987 for his book about the Emperor’s image, The Mikado’s Portrait. Writing on a wide range of topics ranging from literature to the economy, Inose’s meticulously researched works have explored a variety of themes related to Japan’s quest to enter the modern age. In 1996, he won the Bungei Shunju Reader’s Prize for his book, A Study of Japan, a richly documented examination of Japan’s public corporations that urged the need for structural reforms.


About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English-speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at

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