Post by Chris Bunting
The NHK morning drama "Massan" is putting whisky history front and centre of Japanese popular culture at the moment. An interesting little sidelight on the interest this is provoking among the mainstream media is a new manga in Campanella, a web magazine run by Nikkei (Japan's equivalent of the FT or the Wall Street Journal).
It's called "Whisky ni sasageta futari--Rita to Massan" (Roughly, "Two people who gave their lives to whisky--Rita and Massan") and the first installment starts off pretty much at the same point as the NHK drama, with Rita and Masataka Taketsuru's arrival in Yokohama having returned from Scotland with the techniques of Scottish whisky making.
It is written by a new manga artist writing under the penname "Inumoto" (he/she does have a track record as an illustrator) and it looks like it is going to diverge from NHK's storyline. The first couple of strips feature a maid worrying about Rita's expensive tastes in meat, butter and fuel and trying to teach her to keep house more efficiently in the Japanese style (there was no such interaction in the NHK version).
Anyway, for those Japanese speakers who can't see/bear the Asadora (I've heard mixed reactions), how about a little light manga reading?