Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jiro Taniguchi's "The Walking Man"

Don't expect your usual manga comic book characters here. There is no violence, no passion, no extreme expressions, no movement, and no action. Nothing ever happens in "The Walking Man". Or rather, everything happens. According to Jiro Taniguchi, life is in the details. Behind the seemingly mundane course of everyday existence lie the surprise discovery of beauty and the re-invention of the senses. The Walking Man is somebody who has managed to look at things from a distance. Taking in the whole picture, he observes, experiences and reflects on the extraordinary world of the ordinary.

In fact the book shows that nothing is usual or routine. The only thing that can become routine is the perception that we have of our surroundings and ultimately of our life. It's our perceptions that are distorted and it's on these false perceptions that we construct our lives. The Walking man is present and absent at the same time, managing to distil everything into few essential things that remain, that help him to arrive to a certain demystification and the so called simplicity of the wise. "Life is what happens to you when you're busy doing other things" John Lennon.


  1. I found a copy of the Walking Man on UK eBay- only $40 at the moment. Everywhere else I've lookedthis is way over $100. Thought I'd let your readers know in the likelihood that someone is interested. I already have a copy, that's why I'm being generous with the tip-off;) Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for your comment and information. I must say I find it quite surprising that it's so expensive!