Jose Rizal manga to be released in time for his birthday

By Luchi de Guzman/CNN Philippines – A Japanese comic about the life of national hero Jose Rizal, can be read online for free on June 19.

The publisher TORICO, CCC announced in a recent press release that the first few pages of the Jose Rizal manga will be released online for free in English and Japanese on manga.club, and in Japanese on sukima.me. There are plans to release the manga in Filipino.

The manga will have a total of 100 pages that would detail the life of the national hero. New pages will be released every Tuesday.

Takuro Ando, TORICO company representative, said that he was inspired to make a manga about Jose Rizal after seeing a statue of him in Hibiya Park, Tokyo.

“I began to wonder why a bronze statue of a Filipino was in Japan,” Ando said.

Ando decided to research on Rizal, starting with asking the CEO of a Philippine Company connected with TORICO for more details about his life and the impact that he had not only in the Philippines but around the world.

“Japan, too, was affected by the genius of Rizal, who had changed his country not through violence but through his knowledge and hard work,” Ando said.

TORICO tapped award-winning artist Ryo Konno to illustrate the manga.

Takahiro Matsui, who had worked in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries from 2003-2014, is in charge of writing the storyline.

Philippine national hero Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861.

He visited Japan briefly during his travels in the springtime of 1888. He stayed in Yokohama and Tokyo for a month and a half.

True to his playboy image, Rizal fell for a Japanese woman named Seiko Usui.

He had written favorably about the country to his family and to Ferdinand Blumentritt, while lamenting how he was looked at differently for having features of someone who could be mistaken for a Japanese, but the dress sense and mannerisms of a European.

Rizal took great pains to study the Japanese language during his brief stay in the country.

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