Society problems

Manga satirizing revived lifestyles in pursuit of a greener society

An academic has republished his satirical illustrations from the early 1980s because society has continued with its wasteful and environmentally destructive lifestyles.

“The fact that so many works from almost 40 years ago still have a message these days has made me realize once again how the terrible issues of the global environment and waste disappeared,” said Hiroshi Takatsuki, 80, professor emeritus of environmental protection engineering. at Kyoto University.

Takatsuki examined the composition of household and office waste to determine the correlation between citizens’ lives and the environment.

A member of his school’s art club, he printed his first comic privately in book form as a graduate student in 1966.

Takatsuki has published environmental-themed works under his pseudonym High Moon – the English translation of his surname – and is currently a member of the Japan Cartoonists Association.

In 1982, as an assistant professor at Kyoto University, Takatsuki began featuring two single-image manga in each issue of the monthly magazine Haikibutsu (Waste), published by Nippo Co.

His cartoons are still serialized in the trade magazine. And with the January 2022 issue, Takatsuki cartoons appeared 472 times in the publication.

His cartoon series is called “Gomic: Haikibutsu” (Comic Garbage: Precious Waste), a parody of the phrase “Comic: Waste”, pronounced similarly in Japanese but written differently.

Hiroshi Takatsuki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

He said he came up with the title thinking that “we may be unknowingly throwing away precious things through our lifestyles”.

The first of his nine volumes which went on sale in 1986 has recently been reintroduced at the request of readers, including a drawing of cheap disposable umbrellas littering a street and a painting in which hidden rubbish leads to a much bigger problem.

In another work, children anxiously watch their parents waste resources.

The relaunched edition costs 1,200 yen ($10.30), including shipping. For inquiries, contact Takatsuki via email at (

His past cartoons can be viewed on his High Moon Gallery website: ( The site also features Takatsuki’s explanations as a researcher for 10 categories, such as global warming, food waste and the novel coronavirus crisis.