The setting is the pre-modern Japanese countryside of the author’s youth, a slightly magical world where ancestral traditions hold sway over a people in the full vigor of life, struggling to survive the harsh seasons and the difficult life of manual laborers and farmers. While the world they inhabit has faded into memory and myth, the universal fundamental emotions of the human heart prevail at the center of these tender stories.
Susumu Katsumata began publishing comic strips in the legendary avant-garde magazine Garo (which also published his contemporaries Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Yoshiharu Tsuge) in 1965 while enrolled in the faculty of Science in Tokyo. He abandoned his studies in 1971 to become a professional comics artist, alternating the short humorous strips, upon which he built his reputation, with stories of a more personal nature in which he tenderly depicted the lives of peasants and farmers from his native region. In 2006, Susumu Katsumata won the 35th Japanese Cartoonists Association Award Grand prize for Red Snow.