This article was written by the MAL Editing Team.
With the Manga Translation Battle Vol.6 coming to an end recently, we thought we’d bring the community a bit of background information to one of the manga featured for translation in the contest, “Deaimon”! Written by mangaka Rin Asano, Deaimono tells the tale of Nagomu Irions return to Kyoto as he begins to work at his family run Japanese sweet shop. When he arrives however, he finds that instead he has to become caretaker to Itsuka Yukihira, the young girl who has been running the store in his absence!
While only recently serialized, Asano has managed to spin the beginnings of a fascinating Seinen manga with weaving in the theme of family to this sweet (pun intended) slice of life. Set in Kyoto, a former capital city of Japan, Deaimon lets readers get in touch with a more traditional side of the country not often seen in works outside of Kyoto Animation! Kyoto is home of traditional Japanese sweets, green tea, flower arranging (Ikebana), and the beautiful Geisha in their stunning Kimono. If you’ve ever been interested in trying Japanese sweets (they go great with green tea!), then the video below will be a great place to get you started, as it includes both the recipes and instructions on how to create two kinds of steamed buns, or “manjuu”. My personal favorite of the two is the Sakura Manjuu, a soft dessert similar to mochi, filled with red bean paste and topped with a Sakura petal, the pink colouration gives off a cuteness that’s hard to match!
Also if you’ve ever wanted to get inside the head of a mangaka, now is your chance, as at the end of the aforementioned video is a short interview with Asano herself, where she details the research process behind how she decided to write Deaimon, and even gives away some tricks of the trade in regard to writing and translation! Getting to know the ins and outs of Japanese culture can be a little bit difficult for even the most dedicated readers of manga / watchers of anime. But by learning little bit more about the culture ( and sweets) behind our beloved medium, perhaps we can get a better appreciation for why these stories are written the way that we find so compelling.