Earlier this afternoon, Rinko-sensei presented her manga, “The Knife, the Blanket and I” (ナイフと毛布と私) at a special symposium held by the non-profit organization, Sai-Challenge Tokyo (再チャレンジ東京) at the Japan Education Center Chūo-ku, Tokyo. Rinko was one of 5 artists selected by a panel of judges to receive an award at their event called “Aiming for a Bullying-and-Suicide-free Nation” (いじめ・自殺のない国をめざして), and to have her work published in the organization’s 140-page publication of the same name.
“The Knife, the Blanket and I” is an autobiographical account of the artist’s first-hand experiences with bullying and suicide, both of which affected her life as a youth. The deep, heartfelt story and passionately-drawn artwork bring the reality of these hardships into an everyday context. In so doing, Rinko’s manga helps break down the barriers that marginalize bullying and suicide, and prevent regular folks from understanding that these are issues that can affect anyone and everyone.
Among the judges who chose Rinko’s work for the special honor was the legendary manga artist and anime creator, Leiji Matsu
moto (Star Blazers, a.k.a. Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, etc). Rinko was presented with a special award certificate while sharing th
e stage with Matsumoto-sensei during the award ceremony. She even got a chance to chat with him and take a photo with him after the ceremony!
Following the publication of “Aiming for a Bullying-and-Suicide-free Nation,” the book was distributed to schools, libraries and non-profit organizations across Japan. 40 copies of the book were also purchased by the Shinjuku Board of Education in Shinjuku, Tokyo.