What impact did World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb have on the common people of Japan? Through the eyes of an average woman living in 1955, Japanese artist Fumiyo Kouno answers these questions. Kouno's light, free style of drawing evokes a tender reflection of this difficult period in Hiroshima's postwar past. As the characters continue with everyday life, the shadow of the war and the atomic bombing linger ghostlike in the background. Kouno's beautiful storytelling touches the reader's heart but is never overly sentimental.
Widely embraced in Japan, where the work was also controversial, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is the winner of several prestigious awards, including Grand Prize at the 8th Japan Media Arts Festival (2004), and the New Life Award at the 9th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prizes (2005). Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is made up of interconnected short stories; the first is a love story entitled 'Town of Evening Calm,' followed by the two-part story "Country of Cherry Blossoms."
Fumiyo Kouno was born in 1968 in Hiroshima, Japan. She started drawing manga in junior high school. She published her first commercial manga in 1995.