Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. Read more...
Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey.
In Diary of a Tokyo Teen, Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo's trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto. As she shares the trials and pleasures of travel from one end of a trip to the other, Inzer introduces the host of interesting characters she meets and offers a unique--and often hilarious--look at a fascinating country and an engaging tale of one girl rediscovering her roots.
**Listed as a 2016 Great Graphic Novel for Teens by the Young Adult Library Services Association**
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Inzer drew this graphic novel, newly expanded and colored, on a two-month summer trip to Japan when she was in high school; an earlier self-published version, published in 2014 as Halfway Home, generated impressive buzz. Each short, punchy episode combines drawings, photos, observations, and guides: who’s who in Japanese TV comedy, typical festival snacks, etc. Though Inzer’s mother is Japanese, Inzer grew up in the U.S., and she’s always conscious of living between two cultures. Her Japanese grandmother resists letting her explore Tokyo on her own, but Inzer persists, only to find that creepy guys sometimes harass her (“Look disgusted!” Inzer instructs readers. “Death stare!”). At the same time, she’s attracted to boys her age (she beams a thought toward a cool boy on the subway: “Love me!”); sadly, the boys are all glued to their phones. In one sequence, Inzer pictures herself holding conversations with her 10-year-old self (inspecting a coquettish dress, little Christine sighs, “I wish Mom would let us wear this stuff!”). Readers won’t just want to go to Japan by the end of this memoir—they’ll want to go with Inzer. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)