| Hasegawa Machiko (1920-1992) studied under Tagawa Suihô to create
comics, and her works appeared in newspapers such as Kokumin Shinbun [National Newspaper] and the girls’ magazine Shôjo Kurabu [Girls’ Club], which became very popular.|
“Sazae-san” comic strip was first serialized in Yûkan Fukunichi [Fukunichi Evening Paper] from April 22, 1946 to November 5, 1947; in Sin Yûkan [New Evening Paper] from November 21, 1948 to April 2, 1949; and in Asahi Shinbun [Asahi Newspaper] from December 1, 1949 to February 21, 1971. The first volume of Sazae-san (1) in book form was published in 1947 by Shimaisha established by Hasegawa and her elder sister. From the second volume, the size of the book became smaller, and the first volume was also published in the smaller size by June 1949 at the latest.
In the first volume of Sazae-san (1), social conditions and customs of 1946 Japan ― such as repatriation support week, the English conversation practice boom, food rationing, black markets, parent’s association and discussion of equal rights for men and women ― were described interestingly. Characters consisted of Sazae aged twenty-three and single, her brother Katsuo aged seven, her sister Wakame aged five, and their parents. Their father Namihei is the head of a company department in Fukuoka. They had a telephone, a gramophone, a pedal sewing machine, a radio, and a desk lamp in their house.
In the 1940s and 50s Sazae-san (1) reflected the social conditions and customs of aftermath of the war and a high-growth period. In the 1960s and 70s, when most Japanese began to think they belong to the middle class, Sazae-san (1) gradually took on an aspect of satire on the human condition.
Sazae-san (1) was the pioneering work of postwar comical manga, which was followed and developed by Akatsuka Fujio, Satô Sanpei, Ishii Hisaichi, among others. Sazae-san (1) published by Shimaisha totaled 68 volumes. Later, based upon Shimaisha version, Asahi Shinbun published Sazae-san (1) in 45 volumes. Sazae-san was made into a radio drama in 1955 and was made into a movie several times, starring Eri Chiemi, as well as a television drama in 1965. The animation of Sazae-san (1) has been broadcast on television since 1969. A version with English translation on the opposite page is published by Kodansha International.