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Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Shuna’s Journey,’ Finally Translated Into English

First published in Japan in 1983, this picture book from the fabled animator is eerie, enchanting and surpassingly strange.

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By Susan Napier

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SHUNA’S JOURNEY, by Hayao Miyazaki

“Shuna’s Journey” is an eerie and enchanting book, a voyage into a delicately mythic realm of beauty and heartbreak. Here a traditional Tibetan folk tale about a search for fruitful seeds is interwoven with scenes of surpassing strangeness, ranging from an encounter with a vast ship made of rock — its floors formed by human bones that crunch underfoot — to a giant silvery moon that hurtles across the sky guiding a youth toward a “land of the god-folk.” It is a place in which resilient and resolute young people, both male and female, lead their elders into a better future. This visionary space has been created by the legendary Japanese artist, animator and director Hayao Miyazaki .

The world knows Miyazaki as the maker of such masterpieces as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “ Princess Mononoke ” and “ Spirited Away. ” These films feature radiant, painstakingly detailed animation highlighting three-dimensional characters who venture into supernatural realms that are sometimes dark and dangerous but also — frequently — sublime.

What many filmgoers may not know is that Miyazaki started drawing in early childhood and by high school was dreaming of becoming a manga artist. This ambition startled his conservative parents, who hoped that their son would bring in a decent living as a respectable salaried executive. Miyazaki dutifully went to college and studied economics, but he dedicated his free time to a children’s literature study group that read cherished works, often by Western authors, such as Jules Verne’s science fiction adventure “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden,” in which children toil to help a withered garden bloom again. Adventures and gardens feature prominently in Miyazaki’s films, and it is no surprise that he would be attracted to the ancient Tibetan folk tale about a young prince on a quest for barley that inspired “Shuna’s Journey.”

The book, first published in Japan in 1983, is only just now appearing in an excellent English translation by Alex Dudok de Wit that captures the unexpectedly ethereal beauty of Miyazaki’s written words. More of a picture book with narration than a manga, it opens with Miyazaki’s description of a human settlement: “At the bottom of an ancient valley carved out by a glacier, there was a small kingdom which time had abandoned.” Spread out around these words is a two-page visual rendition of the ancient valley, the snowy mountains and fissured cliffs overwhelming the tiny medieval-looking kingdom. This is Miyazaki’s world, a place where nature, animals, gods and humans interact.

Shuna, the book’s hero, is a young prince trying to help his kingdom survive in this severe but beautiful space. A mysterious old man bequeaths him some dead seed husks and, with his final words, a summons to adventure. But Shuna’s is not a traditional quest for a sword or treasure. Instead it is a journey to find living seeds, with the power to grow new crops for generations to come.

Astride his gentle soft-eyed steed, a red elk known as a yakul, Shuna sets out alone across mountains, deserts and oceans. The adventures he encounters are memorable but sometimes troubling, most notably a skirmish with a caravan of slave traders who sell their captives to alien creatures in return for seeds. Perhaps inspired by his study of economics, Miyazaki limns a society based on a ruthless and barren form of exchange, where human beings are bartered for seeds that cannot be sown but only consumed.

Shuna’s skirmish with the slave traders allows him to perform a heroic action. He rescues two young sisters, the older of whom, Thea, will return the favor, pulling him back to life after Shuna’s travels take him into the mysterious world of the god-folk and he is almost destroyed. Thea and her sister, we discover later on, are refugees whose home village was burned to the ground, a chilling reminder of our contemporary world.

Shuna’s story is an uplifting one, and children will appreciate its adventure, mystery and above all the immersive world that the book draws us into. At the same time, its depiction of the barter system offers a tutorial in economics, while its emphasis on the need for living seed is a lesson in sustainability. Older Miyazaki fans will appreciate the story as a compendium of some of the most important elements in the director’s later oeuvre, especially as seen in Thea. In a manner that would become typical of Miyazaki, she is given voice and agency unusual for a girl protagonist in the 1980s, culminating in her evolution into caretaker and then partner as she helps Shuna plant the priceless grains.

But it is Thea’s nameless and voiceless little sister who ultimately conveys the story’s most important message of courage and hope. We see her in a full-page illustration dancing across green seedlings, her hair flying in the sunlight. The text describes her “joyous laugh,” noting that “the girl hadn’t laughed once since the manhunters had set her homeland ablaze, but now she was twirling all about.”

Susan Napier is the Goldthwaite professor of rhetoric and Japanese at Tufts University. She is the author of five books, most recently “Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art.” She is currently working on a book comparing Studio Ghibli with Walt Disney Animation Studios.

SHUNA’S JOURNEY | By Hayao Miyazaki | Translated by Alex Dudok de Wit | 160 pp. | First Second Books | $27.99 | All ages

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Shuna's Journey : Book summary and reviews of Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

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Shuna's Journey

by Hayao Miyazaki

Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

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Published Nov 2022 160 pages Genre: Graphic Novels Publication Information

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From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey , a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English!

Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a mysterious western land, he sets out to find the source of the golden grain, dreaming of a better life for his subjects. It is not long before he meets a proud girl named Thea. After freeing her from captivity, he is pursued by her enemies, and while Thea escapes north, Shuna continues toward the west, finally reaching the Land of the God-Folk. Will Shuna ever see Thea again? And will he make it back home from his quest for the golden grain?

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"Animator Miyazaki ( Spirited Away ) has released only a few comics in his career; this lush fantasy, available in English for the first time, is cause for celebration...Miyazaki's art has a timeless beauty, and the theme of small human kindnesses redeeming a cruel and dehumanizing world feels more relevant than ever. Don't miss this one." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A reimagined folktale as grand as its painted visuals are sublime." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Gorgeous... Shuna's Journey foreshadows much of Miyazaki's later work while still managing to be a complete standalone story in its own right." - Entertainment Weekly

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Born in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, Hayao Miyazaki cofounded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Isao Takahata. Among his eleven animated features, Spirited Away (2001) broke every box-office record in Japan, and won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the 75th Academy Awards for Animated Feature Film. Howl's Moving Castle (2004) received the Golden Osella award at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. Miyazaki was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival. The Wind Rises (2013) was nominated for the 86th Academy Award for Animated Feature Film. In 2014, the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with a Governors Award for lifetime achievement. He is currently working on a new production. Alex Dudok de Wit is the Associate Editor at Cartoon Brew. He is an animation correspondent for Sight & Sound. His writing has also appeared in Vulture, Little White Lies, The Telegraph, The i, The Independent, Time Out, Index on Censorship and elsewhere, including specialist animation publications like Skwigly and ASIFA Magazine . He also translates from Japanese as part of Art Translators Collective. He is based in London, UK.

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Shuna's Journey

Hayao miyazaki , alex dudok de wit  ( translator ).

160 pages, Hardcover

First published June 15, 1983

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SHUNA'S JOURNEY

by Hayao Miyazaki ; translated by Alex Dudok de Wit ; illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2022

A reimagined folktale as grand as its painted visuals are sublime.

A dangerous quest to feed an impoverished land leads to chance encounters and awe-inspiring sights.

Shuna, the prince of a humble, struggling country, acts on the advice of a dying traveler from an Eastern land to seek out seeds that will grow bountiful grains. What he finds is a hostile city built on greed with an active slave trade. After meeting Thea and her little sister, Shuna fights to free them from enslavers. Every scene in this cinematic work stands apart with breathtaking watercolors aided by expert staging and blocking. The sights along Shuna’s journey range from a derelict ship in a treacherous desert to supernatural creatures and settings. The certainty and simplicity of Shuna’s motivations along with Thea’s own narrative arc allow the story to move nimbly from one larger-than-life spectacle to another. The pages read right-to-left manga style, while large panels and minimal dialogue create an immediate, immersive experience for readers. The narration sits outside or along the edges of panels, allowing the lush visuals maximum room to impress. Afterwords from the author and translator describe the story’s roots in a Tibetan folktale as well as comparisons to Miyazaki’s later animated works; this story, translated from Japanese, was originally published in Japan in 1983 before Miyazaki rose to fame with Studio Ghibli. The story’s cultural origins are cued through characters’ garb and other visual elements.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-84652-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY | MANGA | SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY

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ISBN: 9780063116214

Page Count: 304

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Review Posted Online: April 24, 2023

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November 18, 2022 by Betsy Bird

Review of the Day: Shuna’s Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

November 18, 2022 by Betsy Bird   Leave a Comment

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shuna's journey summary

Shuna’s Journey By Hayao Miyazaki Translated by Alex Dudok de Wit $27.99 ISBN: 9781250846525 Ages 9-12 On shelves now

In the pantheon of Miyazaki fans you have to rate yourself on a kind of scale. There are, after all, folks out there that make veritable pilgrimages to places like the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka in suburban Tokyo or the café Kodama in Nagoya, Japan. Then there are folks who’ve never even seen a Miyazaki film and can’t figure out what the fuss is all about. Myself? I fall fairly squarely in the middle. My first Miyazaki was Howl’s Moving Castle and mostly that was just because it was based on a Diana Wynne Jones book I liked. In time, however, I’d see other movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service , Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind , and my personal favorite (which I’ve seen several times) “Castle in the Sky”. So I’m in a fairly interesting position to read and gauge a graphic novel of his which has been overwhelmingly successful in other countries for years but is only just reaching the States now. Shuna’s Journey , as is explained by translator Alex Dudok de Wit, precedes much of what we now consider to be Miyazaki’s seminal work. Loosely based on a Tibetan folktale, the book was originally published in 1983, two years before the launch of Studio Ghibli. Reading it now, it’s this epic, ancient, futuristic, sprawling storyline full of gods and slaves and ancient decaying civilizations. Remarkably it acts as a kind of Intro to Miyazaki in and of itself. The real question that remains, however, is how well it compares to the comics of today. Does it have what it takes to be a graphic novel for kids in the 21st century?

shuna's journey summary

“These things may have happened long ago; they may be still to come. No one really knows anymore.” In this tale a small kingdom exists in an ancient valley, just scraping by. There’s hardly enough food to feed anyone. Here a prince by the name of Shuna lives, and one day, after rescuing a stranger, he learns of a grain that would feed his people indefinitely. The old stranger never found the food, but Shuna is invigorated by the quest. Against the advice of the elders he sets off to see the world and find the grain. Along the way he encounters slavers, a strange moon that travels across the sky at great speeds, kindness, cruelty, and at last a strange land where attaining knowledge means losing everything you have.

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Epic. Definition: extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope. Miyazaki has never been a man afraid of the big picture. Indeed, his films have a tendency to go big or go home. And clearly, after reading Shuna’s Journey this was always the case. I love a children’s book that makes big swings and it doesn’t get biggier or swinginger than this! First and foremost, there’s the story itself. In his Afterword, Miyazaki explains that the Tibetan folktale he based his story upon may have connections to reality. After all, the tale is all about bringing a cereal back to your country. Miyazaki notes that barley is a staple in Tibet but originated in West Asia. From such simple beginnings, though, he crafts an otherworldly reality that’s just as likely to yield wonders as horrors. Late in the book it starts to resemble nothing so much as Jordan Peele’s film Nope , albeit with more jolly green giants getting eaten alive by critters. Then there is the art, which Miyazaki painted himself. They look like watercolors and he just seems to be having such fun with this world. Ancient crumbling statues are the name of the game, but he’s just as adept at nature and architectural details as well. A second read and I picked up on details I might have missed the first time around. There are quite a few layers to the whole enterprise.

shuna's journey summary

The world constructed here is strange and adding to that strangeness is the fact that Shuna goes on an unusual hero’s journey. To be perfectly frank, I’m not used to stories where you follow one character for 110 pages and then the focus switches to someone else for the remaining 34. The choice made here is to render Shuna utterly helpless for the final act of the storyline. Because he did an act of kindness early on, he is saved by those saved by him. Early in the story Shuna saves a girl named Thea and her younger sister from the manhunters. Later, when he has stolen some of the golden grain, his memory, speech, everything really is taken from him and it’s Thea that has to care for him until he is better. Thea is, herself, a strong character who can take care of herself and her sister very well once they’re on their own. As such, you don’t mind the shift to her perspective when it happens. It’s unusual but not unheard of and fits the folktale feel of the endeavor.

Cultural appropriation is something we Americans understand in a fairly limited sense. We get it if we’re already pretty well and truly familiar with the cultures doing the appropriation. When we aren’t, we get a touch confused. Shuna’s Journey is a rather good example of this. Reading this as a Yank it hadn’t really occurred to me that a Japanese creator taking a Tibetan folktale could be read as appropriation. Certainly this is, as the very first line of the book says, a story that could either be the past or the future, depending on how you prefer to see it. There are also elements of Tibetan culture, but it didn’t feel at any point that the creator was doing much more than taking the place more than a jumping off point for his own very different vision. Still, it’s something to take into account, even as you read.

shuna's journey summary

In his note at the end of the book, translator Alex Dudok de Wit says of Miyazaki’s book that, “it is unique in his career: He has never produced another standalone emonogatari book. Nor, I think, has he ever told a story as beguilingly strange as this one.” The words “beguilingly strange” are absolutely perfect. There’s hardly any other way to describe this book. It reads like a manga, from right to left, but as de Wit points out it prefers captions to speech balloons. He calls it an “illustrated story”, though I think “graphic novel” is probably the most accurate description at this time. Whatever you want to call it, there’s a feel you get after reading this book that is entirely its own. Eerie and unnerving, yet at the same time filled with beautiful and even calming moments, this is a book to entice those that have never seen a Miyazaki film and to enthrall those already under his spell. I’ll say it again. “Beguilingly strange”.

On shelves now.

Source: Final copy sent by publisher for review.

Filed under: Best Books , Best Books of 2022 , Reviews , Reviews 2022

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About Betsy Bird

Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

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Shuna's Journey

By hayao miyazaki & translated by alex dudok de wit, recommendations from our site.

Shuna’s Journey — published in 1983, before the launch of Studio Ghibli — is finally available in English. There are seeds of themes and characters which fans will recognise from more famous later works, and similarities with Nausicaä  in particular. But Shuna’s Journey is unique, a stand-alone graphic novel based on a Tibetan folk tale called The Prince Who Turned into a Dog . Shuna travels through a breathtaking variety of landscapes and the watercolour art makes it a visual feast. Much of the scenery is inspired by Tibet but there are also ocean and primeval forest. The traditional folk tale is about the people’s gratitude towards barley, their staple crop; Miyazaki envelops it in a narrative about slavery and people consumed by greed and estranged from nature.

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This graphic novel is an early work by the iconic Hayao Miyazaki, available in English for the first time. With simple language and not much text, children as young as 10 can enjoy it although it is primarily aimed at young adults. Read more about it in our selection of best books of 2022 for teens .

Best Kids' Books of 2022

This graphic novel is an early work by the iconic Hayao Miyazaki, available in English for the first time. With simple language and not much text, children as young as 10 can enjoy it although it is primarily aimed at young adults. Read more about it in our selection of  best books of 2023 for teens .

Shuna's Journey

Author: hayao miyazaki, publisher: first second, hayao miyazaki is world-renowned for good reason; his illustrious studio ghibli is famous for its exquisitely animated films, many of which explore the tensions between man and the natural world. sometimes whimsical, sometimes fierce and forceful, his tales have depicted humanity as stewards of peace or purveyors of war, mother earth as a generous or hostile force. can both entities live in harmony or is one destined to destroy the other, miyazaki is also a quick study of the human condition, depicting his leads, usually female, as courageous agents bearing and braving life’s capricious demands. some of these stories are simple, slice-of-life affairs focusing on family or community. other tales are sweeping, heavy-handed epics, featuring wars and angry gods and dead civilizations, with mankind often the cause or at least entangled in-between., shuna’s journey , interestingly, is none of these things. not exactly., first, it’s not an animated film or tv series. it’s not even a manga in the vein of nausicaa of the valley of the wind , another classic miyazaki work. rather, it’s an emonogatari – an illustrated story that deemphasizes word and manga-style paneling for captions and (often) full-page art. a close american equivalent would be a hand-drawn children’s book or, more explicitly, neil gaiman’s stardust , a graphic novel in which the author combines skeins of text with singular illustrations to convey an engrossing story. shuna’s journey pushes the format to its fullest potential., second, the story is neither epic nor simplistic, but pivots somewhere between the extremes. the eponymous shuna, the story’s princely avatar, doesn’t leave his quaint homeland to save the world or defeat some terrible evil. rather, he seeks a special seed—an almost magical grain that promises to forever feed his suffering tribe. and though the young man certainly encounters some danger and excitement on his journey, he spends much of his time simply wandering across landscapes both beautiful and barren, familiar and alien. here, miyazaki’s lushly painted pages become the star, filling in the silence of shuna’s lonely travels with exotic sights and twisted lands that hover between dream and hanging fear., lastly, the story doesn’t hold to a specific genre. it’s an adventure, maybe, but not a fun, swashbuckling one. it’s almost a piece of heroic introspection, except shuna is so stoic to his core, little growth or personality is revealed. it’s about the earth, yes, but humanity is more the victim here, exploited by both his fellow man and a strangely cryptic, unyielding planet. it’s a tale of love…that goes unstated. it’s a mystery without resolution or proper payoff. ultimately, it’s a paradox that tantalizes as much as it teaches, dangling scant hints and intimations to explain an incomprehensible, even horrific set of circumstances. in fact, the tale is borderline nihilistic—a strange row to hoe for the usually optimistic author. but hope peeks through the book’s final pages, offering its characters, and its readers, a reason to still believe., the story, to its detriment, is also a curiosity, unintentionally serving as a prototypal preview of later ghibli films, most notably princess mononoke . these parallels to later works prove as distracting as they are fascinating, diminishing the potency of the original story. if possible, shuna deserves to be read first, safe in a vacuum far away from the author’s other masterworks. again, if possible., beautiful, ponderous, inexplicable… shuna’s journey is miyazaki’s imagination left to the wind, flowing and unfurling like leaves traveling without destination. indeed, the story doesn’t conclude so much as it pauses, suggesting a part two that never came. thus, the story feels more like a fragment dredged from some lost, religious text…incomplete but not insignificant. some might want more, but readers less concerned with explanations and more willing to be moved and stirred by the images and words contained therein, will find a work primal, timeless..., ...and unmistakably miyazaki.--d.

Shuna's Journey: To the West

Not unlike Prince Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke , Prince Shuna must mount a similar beast and head into the unknown.

Characters bear the same signature miyazaki touch, especially in their expressions - which, as seen in the rich merchant here, actually belies an evil nature. this scene also marks a rare moment in which a speech bubble is used., the artwork is versatile, with deft use of color and shading. miyazaki wasn't just a master director; he knew how to direct his own inner talents and vision., the world shuna travels often feels alien. eerie. ominous. in a way unusual to other miyazaki or ghibli works..

shuna's journey summary

Book cover for Shuna’s Journey

Shuna’s Journey

By Hayao Miyazaki

Length: 160 pages

Rating: 10/10

First Published: 2022

Get it : UK 🇬🇧 | US 🇺🇸

It’s Miyazaki, in a graphic novel, without any of the weird stuff. Beautiful hardcover, printed in Singapore.

It was first published in 1983, but only came out in English in 2022. (Predictably, it won an Eisner award in 2023.)

Wide, cinematic, slow, and easy to read. It’s like therapy for your eyes.

If you like comics, or Miyazaki, or looking at paintings/art in general, you’ll love it. The story is maybe a bit childish (as in: easy) and strange, but that didn’t bother me. It was more about the visual experience, since the text is so sparse.

10/10 would recommend. And I actually liked the foreword, which is unusual.

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Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

 From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English!Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work them...

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shuna's journey summary

Shuna’s Journey Is Hayao Miyzaki’s Folkloric Blueprint

Newly translated into english, this standalone graphic novel from the acclaimed director directly adapts the stories that have influenced him for decades..

Shuna no Tabi (Shuna’s Journey) | First published in Japan by Tokuma Shoten Co., Ltd.

Directly inspired by Tibetan folklore, Hayao Miyazaki’s early graphic novel Shuna’s Journey is a look into the themes, stories, and character archetypes that define his more well-known work. Translated by Alex Dudok De Wit and published in English for the first time since its original Japanese release in 1983, this singular work within Miyazaki’s incredible opus is well worth picking up.

Suggested Reading

Shuna’s Journey uses a restrained but evocative visual language, and the limited panels and reliance on narration help create a sad, if ultimately hopeful fable. It follows a young prince as he attempts to find the golden grain that grows in the land of the gods. The canyon where he lives is difficult to farm, and he and his people barely eke out a living from the harsh land. The golden grain is supposed to be able to grow in any conditions, and would guarantee the preservation of his people and his family. During his travels west he hears of the land of the gods, and he finds a great city. He encounters the young girl Thea, a slave, and eventually frees her. When he does find the land of the gods, the truth of the golden grain is frightening and horrific. Regardless of the cost, he attempts to bring the grain back to his homeland.

Related Content

Miyazaki’s work has always blended the fantastic and the horrific, and Shuna’s Journey is no different. The book demonstrates Miyazaki’s lifelong commitment to creating children’s stories for an adult audience, dealing with themes and crises of humanity that children easily accept as evil and adults tend to trip up on. This book in particular has no qualms about bringing up questions of morality as well as underlying anxieties about ecology and climate. Within this there-and-back-again story is a deeply considered commentary on the value of human life and the world that we leave behind.

Shuna no Tabi (Shuna’s Journey) | First published in Japan by Tokuma Shoten Co., Ltd.

Miyazaki is well known for incorporating a European setting into many of his works– Kiki’s Delivery Service is set in Sweden, Porco Rosso is set in the Adriatic, and Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy version of Europe. Shuna’s Journey is a very Asian-inspired story, taking story and setting elements from across Tibet and incorporating it into a visual narrative that evokes the Silk Road, the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the city of Khiva, and most recognizably, the mountain cities of the Himalayas. In Shuna’s Journey we can clearly see the prototype for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke , with similar beasts and narratives about climate, ecology, and human greed taking root here first.

This rather unique piece of Miyazaki’s oeuvre is his only story told within this format. He is known for having produced manga (famously the manga for Nausicaä which allowed him to direct the film), but this is the only standalone visual piece. De Wit, the translator, describes this format as emonogatari —an illustrated story—rather than a manga. It’s restrained, plot-heavy, and without a lot of the sentiment that Miyazaki would become known for in his later works.

Ultimately this book is an eerie and delightful piece of work that highlights Miyazaki’s gorgeous art, long before it became the Ghibli style. Longtime fans will enjoy finding the threads that tie Shuna’s Journey to his later works, from familiar creature designs to costumes to settings. New readers will have no problem with the direct, evocative translation and the bold illustrations.

Shuna’s Journey is currently available from First Second.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel , Star Wars , and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water .

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Review of Shuna’s Journey By Hayao Miyazaki!

November 3, 2022 Category - Anime

Shuna's Journery By Hayao Miyazaki

Have you ever heard of Shuna’s Journey?

It’s the work by Hayao Miyazaki but not famous like other Ghibli works like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, etc.

I read it about 15 years ago, maybe right after graduation of University and I was looking for an interesting book at a kind of subculture store and found it!

I read it a bit on the spot and decided to buy as it was very interesting.

Interesting point is about 5 years ago, I happened to encounter with this book again when I ordered a secret menu at a unique book cafe in Ikebukuro.

They serve one menu with a book which is secret. I wondered what kind of book come and to my very surprise, the secret book came in front of me was Shuna’s Journey .

It is manga and not made into an anime movie, so I’ll introduce you the story and review.

※This article includes spoiler, so if you do not want, I’m glad you come back here after reading Shuna’s Journey

  • 1. Short Summary
  •    2.1. Unpredictable Action of Shuna
  •    2.2. Is action by Shuna really right?
  •    2.3. Strong Mind of Thea
  •    2.4. Talk with a man like Jigo of Princess Mononoke
  •    2.5. Existence of God-Folk
  •    2.6. Bravery of Shuna
  • 3. Original Concept from The Prince who became a Dog
  • 4. Shuna’s Journey English Ver. Released November 2022!

Short Summary

Long time ago, there was a small kingdom at the bottom of the valley.

People were poor but lived gratefully for the small harvest. Prince of the kingdom Shuna thought what a sad poor life and what a beautiful but harsh nature.

One day, Shuna finds an old traveler lying on the ground.

Traveler shows seeds of grain which is already dead and tells Shuna that he is traveling to find the living seed.

He was once a prince of a small country like Shuna but to rescue the poor people in his country he set out on a journey to get the living seed.

Shuna got the dead seed and he also set out on a journey to find the living seed. After his long journey, what he saw was…

Unpredictable Action of Shuna

First, Shuna’s action was a kind of surprise to me.

Here, surprise means as a character made by Hayao Miyazaki..

Certainly people living there were poor but at least they felt gratefulness for the harvest. The elders also say if that’s the destiny even if we are poor, dying here is also our way.

But Shuna said “what a sad poor life” . He doesn’t have a good impression on his country.

In the end, he ignores all the advice of his father and elderlies and set out on a journey.

Shinto and Japanese culture choose to live with nature instead of conquer nature.

This is my private view but I felt like works by Hayao Miyazaki treasure this rules of nature and each main character in his works treasures that part at least.

Even though poor they are, they help each other and live with thankfulness even if that’s a poor harvest, that kind of part they treasure I felt.

But I felt action and thoughts of Shuna were opposite.

Just one point was common. That was the action he took to rescue others.

Not for himself but for others, to rescue people in his kingdom, he set on a journey. He doesn’t care taking any risk for that and this point is common in all the works by Hayao Miyazaki, I felt.

Is action by Shuna really right?

There were some scenes in which I wondered if actions by Shuna were really right.

First, he attacked merchants who were selling slaves.

Of course, I understand he can not forgive those people ethically. Still, when he had been spoken to a merchant if he could buy the slaves and couldn’t make it, he gave up and left the place.

That is, he first tried to free the slaves by buying them under the official rules (in this world) without resorting to the power and assault.

But he threatened the merchant by putting the edge of his sword to the merchant’s neck to free them in the end and that’s the opposite way of the first action of his.

Not only that, he assaulted a cart carrying slaves and killed traffickers. I think this scene is the first time Shuna killed human.

Aside from right or wrong, Shuna threatened and killed people at least.

I understand it if the situation was like lives of slave hang in the balance or his life was at risk but he attacked voluntarily in this case.

Trafficking slaves is unforgivable but was Shuna really right? Wasn’t there any other way?

Next point I felt something was the part he robbed seeds in the end. This is also an obvious predatory act .

Stepping in the land where humans were not allowed to enter and run away after ripping the plant out there. Actually, the moment he ripped out the plant, an acute pain tore through his heart.

In the end, he loses all the memories he had. This might have been the price he paid for it.

Strong Mind of Thea

When Shuna had wavering feelings when the merchant asked him of buying slaves, Thea shouted at Syuna he would also be captured if he sold his weapon, adding she didn’t want even Shuna to buy her.

Without really strong heart, no one can make such a remark, I thought.

She was promised to be free from the servitude at least but she rejected it on her own. Top of it, she made an extra disadvantageous remark saying she does’t want to be bought even by Shuna.

If this had occurred in our real world, most of us could not do, I think. Making such remark is very difficult without much pride and strong heart.

Of course, this is the world of manga, so it’s possible, still I think this kind of decision we have to make in our life regardless of its scale occurs even if the situation is different.

No one blames you and that’s not a bad thing even if you didn’t say, move, but.

This kind of situation, most of us encounter, I think. In a way, only in such a moment, real value of that person is being put to the test, I feel.

Thea was a girl who never throw away her pride of heart even if she became a slave. Nobody can rule her in the real meaning, I felt.

Talk with a man like Jigo of Princess Mononoke

What? Jigo?

A man who looks like Jigo of Princess Mononoke appears in Shuna’s Journey. Rather, his character and role are almost Jiko.

This elderly person tells Shuna the place where seeds exist.

What I paid attention was just a small talk between Shuna and this elderly person.

Shuna thought this guy knew the place of seed, so asked him eagerly. But the elderly person tells “Give me a naan before that” .

I felt this is really true.

If you want something, you give something first.

People often become like I want, I want, sometimes although it can not be helped as we are human after all. We tend to prioritize our profit before others. If you just live unconsciously without thinking, you tend to do such things, rather, adults often do it, too.

Point is those people do such a thing unconsciously like the case of Shuna. They, sometimes including me, don’t notice they prioritize themselves.

Simply put, it’s the difference of Giver who can give something to others and Taker who always work hard to get something from others

I felt this elderly person told (although he didn’t say anything directly) Shuna this very simple thing in this small talk.

Privately, I felt I wanted to be Giver regardless of whether I can get something or not.

Existence of God-Folk

God-Folks were the ones who had the seeds in the end

God-Folks gave the seeds to the humans in return for humans who had been sold by humans. Slaves, who were bought by Traffickers, had been sold to God-Folks.

Humans grew seeds and plants once but now only God-Folks keep the seeds. What humans have was dead seeds which were given by God-Folks now.

I feel this contains various metaphors.

Humans who lost, forgot the original way of living and irony of selling humans by same human race as a price.

We might be able to put those things to various incidents which occur in our real world.

If we focus on seeds, that’s native seeds which exist since old days only in the area. If we focus on our lifestyle, mass-consumption society rather than fixing and making on our own hands.

Communication of social media instead of face-to-face conversation.

Something gained, something lost.

Was that something we gained dead seeds or…

Bravery of Shuna

I feel Shuna is a person who acts emotionally using right brain rather than left brain. There are cases I can not say his action is right or wrong.

Still, he acts. He acts even if he risks his life.

I thought this is just incredible. I can not act like him if that means risk my life, actually.

For Shuna, something to accomplish overwhelms taking his life.

That old man like Jigo also told him he can go back home anytime as cozy, free life as a prince awaits for him.

But, he chose to keep going.

In the closing days of his journey, he notices he is in a very peaceful world.

Blessed with nature and foods. World of no creatures that threaten or being threatened.

I think this is the world he was looking for.

He can live happily rest of his life if he stays there without going outside. No need to fight. No need to hurt or being hurt.

And yet, he left there and set out on his journey in the end. He did so just for something he wanted to accomplish.

There are many risks in life and there is security by staying inside as well.

There is no answer like which is right but Shuna kept going even at risk to his life for something he wanted to accomplish.

Those who accomplish something might be the ones who can move with such a strong will.

What could Shuna accomplish in the end.

Original Concept from The Prince who became a Dog

It was written in the postscript and it looks like the story was made based on Tibetan folk song “The Prince who became a Dog” .

In this The Prince who became a Dog, the prince who stole grains of wheat turned into a dog instead of losing memories like Shuna.

Now finally the mystery of Shuna’s action was not something appeared in the main characters by Hayao Miyazaki was solved.

Shuna’s Journey had its original draft and I think the story developed based on it as much as possible.

It was not a perfect original work like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke, etc.

Both endings after that, Shuna’s Journey and The Prince who became a Dog, are also similar.

In Shuna’s Journey, the seeds which Shuna brought back were not revealed after all but in The Prince who became a Dog, it was clearly revealed as “Wheat” .

Tibet is the country where staple food is wheat and this The Prince who became a Dog must have made factoring in its real history.

Shuna’s Journey English Ver. Released November 2022!

Finally, Shuna’s Journey was translated into English and release November 2022.

Publisher is First Second in United Kingdom.

It’s a hardcover book.

I checked price on Amazon US and it was about $20 .

I’m very interested in how the translation is.

And I’m also very glad that Ghibli fans in overseas could notice this Shuna’s Journey as it is not famous at all like other Ghibli films in overseas.

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Tags: Hayao Miyazaki , Review , Sammary , Shuna's Journey Author : Hiroshi

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Shuna’s Journey

Hayao miyazaki, trans. from the japanese by alex dudok de wit. first second, $27.99 (160p) isbn 978-1-250-84652-5.

shuna's journey summary

Reviewed on: 08/17/2022

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The secrets and surprises of Shuna’s Journey, Miyazaki’s rediscovered classic

Whether or not Shuna’s Journey is manga, it’s a haunting experience.

A new Hayao Miyazaki manga is a stop-the-presses event, even when it isn't entirely new, or maybe even entirely a manga. Miyazaki's breathtaking fantasy Shuna's Journey was first published in Japan in 1983 but has never been available in English. Now it's out from publisher First Second in a lovingly produced full-color edition with a translation from Alex Dudok de Wit.

As more or less anyone who's ever seen an anime knows, Miyazaki is one of the legends of Japanese animation. A co-founder of Studio Ghibli, he's renowned as the director of such films as My Neighbor Totoro , Princess Mononoke , Spirited Away , and the upcoming How Do You Live? But every once in a while, he draws manga as well.

Shuna's Journey was begun at around the same time as Miyazaki's longest and most ambitious manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind , which he adapted into an animated film in 1984 . Miyazaki was also interested in filming Shuna but was unable to get enough support for the story, so he drew it as a one-volume graphic novel instead.

Illustrated cover of Shuna's Journey featuring a girl on a donkeylike creature

What's Shuna's Journey about?

Shuna's Journey takes its inspiration from a Tibetan folktale called “The Prince Who Became a Dog,” but the characters and plot are Miyazaki’s own. The story opens in a small kingdom struggling through a famine. The young ruler, Prince Shuna, learns from a traveler about a fabled “golden grain” that could feed his people. Ignoring the warnings of the elders, he sets out in search of it, only to find that the outside world is even harsher than his rugged farming community.

Shuna crosses desert wastelands pocked by ancient ruins, fights raiders and cannibals, explores cities overrun with crime and corruption, and encounters cruelty and suspicion everywhere he goes. He rescues two sisters from a slave caravan, bringing the wrath of the slave traders on them. After a narrow escape, he descends into the bizarre Land of the God-Folk, a dreamlike realm which may actually be the site of abandoned advanced technology from a forgotten past. When Shuna returns to the land of the living, his experiences have broken him, and he has to rely on the sisters he rescued to help him rejoin humanity.

Miyazaki connections in Shuna's Journey

A comics spread featuring an inhabited pass between three cliffs

Fans of Nausicaä will notice a familiar vibe to Shuna's Journey. Both stories are about a courageous young ruler questing in a world where humans eke out survival under ongoing ecological disaster. In both stories, the setting may be fantasy, or it may be an SF vision of our own post-apocalyptic future, as suggested by the discovery of ancient technology left over from a long-gone civilization. In addition to sharing elements with Nausicaä, Shuna may remind fans of Miyazaki's 1997 film Princess Mononoke. Prince Shuna looks a lot like Prince Ashitaka, the male protagonist of Princess Mononoke, and both ride antelope-like mounts (described as “red elk” in Princess Mononoke).

In all three stories, Miyazaki remixes some of his favorite themes: environmental destruction, humanity's relationship with nature, and the importance of individual courage and kindness in an uncaring world. Shuna's Journey is less morally complicated than much of Miyazaki's later work. There are clear good guys and bad guys (the cannibal women who lure lost travelers into their desert home and eat them: bad) and a hero with a simple, relatable goal. Both Mononoke and the second half of Nausicaä question this kind of simplicity: in those stories, there are no clear villains, living in harmony with nature isn’t easy, and the protagonists aren't always sure about the right thing to do. (The first half of Nausicaä, the plot of which is covered in the movie, is similar to Shuna in tone—but read the entire manga to see the story and characters veer into much thornier territory).

The complexity of Shuna isn't in the story, but in the protagonist and the world he has to navigate. We don't learn more about Shuna's experiences than he himself understands, which means that many things remain unexplained. The Land of the God-Folk is so baffling it breaks his mind, but he's only slightly less bewildered by human communities overtaken by violence, slavery, and greed. Growing up in a poor but mutually supportive kingdom, he has his emotional strength slowly chipped away as he deals with people and places that lack the kindness he was raised with. Shuna's Journey ends with an optimistic message about the power of individuals, but only after sending the hero and the reader through dark, despairing territory.

But is Shuna's Journey manga?

Illustrated spread from Shunas Journey featuring houses on a mountain

Shuna's Journey is usually described as a manga, but it's a little different from a typical manga. Instead of a standard comic-book format with word balloons, it consists of illustrations with text captions, creating an effect halfway between a graphic novel and a picture book. Unlike most manga, it's in full color, so readers are treated to page after page of Miyazaki's rich watercolor art.

The hybrid format adds another level to the fantasy worldbuilding. We're not reading an ordinary adventure manga, but some kind of picture-story from an alternate civilization. The effect is distancing at first, but it's easy to get drawn into Shuna's quest and the world he explores.

It seems like Miyazaki has never made a bad drawing (in reality, as a merciless perfectionist, he probably threw them all out and went back to the drawing board), and Shuna, despite being one of his earlier works, is stunning to look at. The format allows Miyazaki to draw large illustrations and lavish detail and color on each one. Pages are crammed with fascinating, unexplained touches: elaborately patterned clothing, imaginative murals and tapestries, vast ancient ruins, strange plants and animals. It feels like Shuna's world extends far past the borders of the page.

Whether or not Shuna’s Journey is manga, it’s a haunting experience.

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See how Hayao Miyazaki's graphic novel Shuna's Journey foreshadowed his classic films

A new English translation of the Studio Ghibli icon's 1983 comic contains seeds of Princess Mononoke and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Check out an exclusive preview.

Christian Holub is a writer covering comics and other geeky pop culture. He's still mad about 'Firefly' getting canceled.

shuna's journey summary

Before he was one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation, Hayao Miyazaki wrote and drew his own manga. And as a new release makes clear, those stories carried the seeds of stories, ideas, and designs that would later flourish fully in his acclaimed movies like Princess Mononoke and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind .

Nausicaä , of course, was directly adapted from the manga series of the same name that Miyazaki had written and drawn from 1982 to 1994, before he founded Studio Ghibli . But during that same period, Miyazaki also wrote and drew another graphic novel, Shuna's Journey , which is now being published in the U.S. for the very first time by First Second. Alex Dudok de Wit handled the English translation. EW has an exclusive preview of Miyazaki's gorgeous art from the book below.

Shuna's Journey is about a young prince from a dying land who is desperate to create a better life for his people. When he hears of "golden grain," a legendary crop to be found out west that is much easier and more fulfilling to farm than the weeds his countrymen make do with, Shuna mounts his trusty elk and sets out to find some seeds to bring back to his homeland.

Some of this may sound familiar. Princess Mononoke , one of Miyazaki's most beloved films (and EW's favorite ), also centers on a young prince who leaves his barren land to find adventure and magic. Shuna's loyal mount is quite reminiscent of the trusty Yakul from Princess Mononoke . Like Ashitaka, Shuna falls in love with a beautiful young woman and eventually makes his way to the hidden nature sanctuary of the gods. There, Shuna encounters tall, long-limbed beings who manage to resemble both the automatons of Castle in the Sky (but more organic) and the fiery giants of Nausicaä (but less destructive).

In other words, Shuna's Journey foreshadows much of Miyazaki's later work while still managing to be a complete standalone story in its own right.

"What an immense honor it is to publish an original Hayao Miyazaki graphic novel," First Second creative director Mark Siegel said in a statement. " Shuna's Journey is a transporting, beautifully rendered tale by one of the greatest master storytellers of our time. Fans of Princess Mononoke and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (there are millions of us) will delight in finding early hints of these masterworks in gorgeous watercolor pages by Miyazaki's own hand. It's amazing Shuna's Journey has never been published before outside of Japan until now, as it belongs among his most inspired creations in any medium."

Shuna's Journey will be published in the U.S. on Nov. 1.

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Shuna's Journey

Shuna's Journey

shuna's journey summary

IMAGES

  1. Shuna's Journey

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  2. Hayao Miyazaki’s “Shuna’s Journey” Manga To Be Released in English This

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  3. The secrets and surprises of Shuna’s Journey, Miyazaki’s rediscovered

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  4. Shuna's Journey

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  5. Book Review: ‘Shuna’s Journey,’ by Hayao Miyazaki

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  6. See how Hayao Miyazaki's graphic novel Shuna's Journey foreshadowed his

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. Shuna's Journey

    Shuna's Journey (シュナの旅, Shuna no Tabi) is a one-volume watercolor-illustrated emonogatari (graphic novel) written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki and published as a single bunkoban (softcover booklet), on 15 June 1983, by Tokuma Shoten under its Animage Ju Ju Bunko imprint. The story was adapted into a 60-minute radio drama which was broadcast in Japan, on NHK FM, on 2 May 1987.

  2. Book Review: 'Shuna's Journey,' by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna, the book's hero, is a young prince trying to help his kingdom survive in this severe but beautiful space. A mysterious old man bequeaths him some dead seed husks and, with his final words ...

  3. Summary and reviews of Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Book Summary. From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there.

  4. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna's Journey, as is explained by translator Alex Dudok de Wit, precedes much of what we now consider to be Miyazaki's seminal work. Loosely based on a Tibetan folktale, the book was originally published in 1983, two years before the launch of Studio Ghibli. ... Short plot summary. Shuna is a prince from a remote land. His people are ...

  5. SHUNA'S JOURNEY

    The sights along Shuna's journey range from a derelict ship in a treacherous desert to supernatural creatures and settings. The certainty and simplicity of Shuna's motivations along with Thea's own narrative arc allow the story to move nimbly from one larger-than-life spectacle to another. The pages read right-to-left manga style, while ...

  6. Review of the Day: Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna's Journey, as is explained by translator Alex Dudok de Wit, precedes much of what we now consider to be Miyazaki's seminal work. Loosely based on a Tibetan folktale, the book was originally published in 1983, two years before the launch of Studio Ghibli. Reading it now, it's this epic, ancient, futuristic, sprawling storyline full ...

  7. Shuna's Journey

    Shuna's Journey — published in 1983, before the launch of Studio Ghibli — is finally available in English. There are seeds of themes and characters which fans will recognise from more famous later works, and similarities with Nausicaä in particular. But Shuna's Journey is unique, a stand-alone graphic novel based on a Tibetan folk tale called The Prince Who Turned into a Dog.

  8. Shuna's Journey

    Shuna's Journey. December 2022 New York Times BestsellerWinner of the 2023 Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—AsiaFrom legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a ...

  9. Reviewing Shuna's Journey: A Masterful Prelude to Miyazaki's Later

    Shuna's Journey pushes the format to its fullest potential. Second, the story is neither epic nor simplistic, but pivots somewhere between the extremes. The eponymous Shuna, the story's princely avatar, doesn't leave his quaint homeland to save the world or defeat some terrible evil. Rather, he seeks a special seed—an almost magical ...

  10. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki: Review/summary

    By Hayao Miyazaki. Length: 160 pages Rating: 10/10 First Published: 2022 Get it: UK 🇬🇧 | US 🇺🇸. Last read: 2023. It's Miyazaki, in a graphic novel, without any of the weird stuff. Beautiful hardcover, printed in Singapore.

  11. Shuna's Journey

    Shuna's Journey foreshadows much of Miyazaki's later work while still managing to be a complete standalone story in its own right." — Entertainment Weekly "Though aimed at and certainly appropriate for younger readers, Shuna's Journey is a delight for any graphic novel or manga fan.

  12. Reader Review: Shuna's Journey

    "Shuna's Journey" is a parable about societies that lose control of what sustains them. In this case, as one might expect of Hayao Miyazaki, what's lost is a connection to the natural world, particularly to agriculture.. The main and titular character, Shuna is a prince from a village in the periphery whose people have retained this connection, living impoverished agrarian lives.

  13. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a mysterious western land, he sets out to find the source of the golden grain, dreaming of a better life for his subjects. It is not long before he meets a proud girl named Thea.

  14. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna's Journey Hayao Miyazaki with Alex Dudok de Wit (Translator) 153 pages • first pub 1983 ISBN/UID: 9781250846525. Format: Hardcover. Language: English. Publisher: ... Community Reviews Summary of 1,116 reviews. Moods. adventurous 91% hopeful 43% mysterious 35% reflective 35% emotional 31% inspiring 29% dark 21% lighthearted 11% relaxing ...

  15. Shuna's Journey: Hayao Miyzaki Graphic Novel Review

    Shuna's Journey is a very Asian-inspired story, taking story and setting elements from across Tibet and incorporating it into a visual narrative that evokes the Silk Road, the Buddhas of Bamiyan ...

  16. Review of Shuna's Journey By Hayao Miyazaki!

    Shuna's Journey English Ver. Released November 2022! Finally, Shuna's Journey was translated into English and release November 2022. Publisher is First Second in United Kingdom. It's a hardcover book. I checked price on Amazon US and it was about $20. I'm very interested in how the translation is.

  17. Shuna's Journey Hardcover

    Shuna's Journey. Hardcover - November 1, 2022. From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the ...

  18. Shuna No Tabi

    Shuna's Journey (シュナの旅, Shuna no Tabi) is a one-volume watercolor-illustrated graphic novel written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki and published as a single softcover booklet, on 15 June 1983, by Tokuma Shoten under its Animage Ju Ju Bunko imprint.

  19. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki, Hardcover

    December 2022 New York Times Bestseller Winner of the 2023 Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to ...

  20. Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

    Shuna's Journey Hayao Miyazaki, trans. from the Japanese by Alex Dudok de Wit. First Second, $27.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-250-84652-5

  21. The secrets and surprises of Shuna's Journey, Miyazaki's rediscovered

    Shuna's Journey takes its inspiration from a Tibetan folktale called "The Prince Who Became a Dog," but the characters and plot are Miyazaki's own. The story opens in a small kingdom struggling through a famine. The young ruler, Prince Shuna, learns from a traveler about a fabled "golden grain" that could feed his people.

  22. Hayao Miyazaki's Shuna's Journey foreshadowed Ghibli movies

    See how Hayao Miyazaki's graphic novel. Shuna's Journey. foreshadowed his classic films. A new English translation of the Studio Ghibli icon's 1983 comic contains seeds of Princess Mononoke and ...

  23. Shuna's Journey

    From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes Shuna's Journey, a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a ...