Junji Ito – Wikipedia

junji ito

Junji Ito (Japanese: 伊藤 潤二, Hepburn: Itō Junji, born July 31, 1963) is a Japanese horror mangaka. Some of his most notable works include Tomie, a series chronicling an immortal girl who drives her stricken admirers to madness; Uzumaki, a three-volume series about a town obsessed with spirals; and Gyo, a two-volume story where fish are controlled by a strain of sentient bacteria called “the death stench.” His other works include Itou Junji Kyoufu Manga Collection, a collection of different short stories including a series of stories named Souichi’s Journal of Delights, and Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, a self-parody about him and his wife living in a house with two cats. Ito’s work has developed a substantial cult following, with some deeming him a significant figure in recent horror iconography.

Life and career[edit]

Junji Itō was born on 31 July 1963 in Sakashita, now a part of Nakatsugawa, Gifu. He began his experience in the horror world at a very young age; his two older sisters would read Kazuo Umezu and Shinichi Koga in magazines, and consequently, he began reading them too. He grew up in the countryside, in a small city next to Nagano.[1] In the house where he lived, the bathroom was at the end of an underground tunnel, where there were spider crickets. Such experiences were later reflected in his works.[2]


Itō first began writing and drawing manga as a hobby while working as a dental technician around 1984.[2]

In 1987, he submitted a short story to Gekkan Halloween (月刊ハロウィン, lit. Monthly Halloween) that won an honorable mention in the Kazuo Umezu Prize (with Umezu himself as one of the judges).[3] This story was later serialized as Tomie.[4]

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Ito teamed up with Takashi Nagasaki and former diplomat Masaru Sato to create Yūkoku no Rasputin (2010–2012), based on Sato’s personal experiences in Russia, for Big Comic.[5]

Film director Guillermo del Toro cited on his official Twitter account that Ito was originally a collaborator for the video game Silent Hills, of which both Del Toro and game designer Hideo Kojima were the main directors. However, a year after its announcement, the project was canceled by Konami, the IP’s owner.[6] Itō and Del Toro would later lend their likenesses to Kojima’s next project, Death Stranding.[7]

In 2019, Ito received an Eisner Award for his manga adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Junji married Ayako Ishiguro (石黒亜矢子), a picture book artist. As of 2013, they have two children.[9]

Inspiration and themes[edit]

In addition to Kazuo Umezu, Itō has cited Hideshi Hino, Shinichi Koga, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Edogawa Ranpo and H. P. Lovecraft as being major influences on his work.[10] The universe Itō depicts is cruel and capricious; his characters often find themselves victims of malevolent unnatural circumstances for no discernible reason or punished out of proportion for minor infractions against an unknown and incomprehensible natural order.[11] Some of the recurring themes of Itō’s work include jealousy, envy, body horror, seemingly ordinary characters who begin to act out of irrational compulsion, the breakdown of society, deep-sea organisms, and the inevitability of one’s demise, all displayed through a realistic and simple design, which emphasizes the contrast between beauty and death. The events narrated are unpredictable and violent, and arise from normal situations.[citation needed ] Itō has also cited H. R. Giger, Salvador Dali, and others as influences on his work as well.[12]

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Tomie was inspired by the death of one of his classmates. Ito felt strange that a boy he knew suddenly disappeared from the world, and he kept expecting the boy to show up again; from this came the idea of a girl who is supposed to have died but then just shows up as if nothing had happened. Gyo was influenced by his anti-war feelings, developed when he was a child, due to his parents’ tragic and frightening war stories. “The Hanging Balloons” was based on a childhood dream.[2]



  • The Junji Ito Horror Comic Collection (collects stories from Halloween, ComicsOne, English editions have flipped pages):
    • Volume 1 and 2: Tomie (富江) (does not include Tomie: Again, English: 2001, ISBN 0908603917 and ISBN 0908603917, respectively)
    • Volume 3: Flesh-Colored Horror (肉色の怪, Nikuiro no Kai) (English: 2001, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 4: The Face Burglar (顔泥棒)
    • Volume 5: Souichi’s Diary of Delights (双一の楽しい日記, Souichi no Tanoshi i Nikki)
    • Volume 6: Souichi’s Diary of Curses (双一の呪い日記)
    • Volume 7: Slug Girl (なめくじの少女)
    • Volume 8: Blood-bubble Bushes (血玉樹)
    • Volume 9: Hallucinations (首幻想)
    • Volume 10: House of the Marionettes (あやつりの屋敷)
    • Volume 11: The Town Without Streets (道のない街)
    • Volume 12: The Bully (いじめっ娘)
    • Volume 13: The Circus is Here (サーカスが来た)
    • Volume 14: The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel (トンネルの奇譚)
    • Volume 15: Lovesick Dead (死びとの恋わずらい)
    • Volume 16: Frankenstein (フランケンシュタイン)
  • Uzumaki (うずまき) (VIZ, 2001, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Museum of Terror (恐怖博物館, Kyōfu Hakubutsukan) (collects stories from Halloween in order of publication, Asahi Sonorama,[13] first 3 volumes translated into English by Dark Horse Comics[14])
    • Volume 1 and 2: Tomie (富江) (Volume 2 includes Tomie: Again, Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917 and ISBN 0908603917, Dark Horse, 2006, ISBN 0908603917 and ISBN 0908603917, respectively)
    • Volume 3: The Long Hair in the Attic (屋根裏の長い髪, Yaneura no nagai kami) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917, Dark Horse, 2006, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 4: Kakashi (案山子) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917, 2007 ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 5: Rojiura (路地裏) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 6: Sōichi no katte na noroi (双一の勝手な呪い) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 7: Umeku haisuikan (うめく配水管) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 8: Shirosunamura chitan (白砂村血譚) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 9: Oshikiri idan (押切異談&フランケンシュタイン) (Asahi Sonorama, 2002, ISBN 0908603917)
    • Volume 10: Shibito no Koi Wazurai (死びとの恋わずらい) (Asahi Sonorama, 2003, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Gyo (ギョ) includes two bonus stories: The Sad Tale of the Principal Post (大黒柱悲話, Daikokubashira Hiwa) and The Enigma of Amigara Fault (阿弥殻断層の怪, Amigara Dansō no Kai) (VIZ: 2003, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Mimi’s Ghost Stories (ミミの怪談, Mimi no Kaidan) (Media Factory: 2003, ISBN 0908603917) (adapted from Shin-Mimi-Bukuro (新耳袋) by Hirokatsu Kihara [ja])
  • Remina (地獄星レミナ, Jigokusei Remina) (Shogakukan: 2005, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Voices in the Dark (闇の声, Yami no Koe) (Asahi Sonorama, 2007, ISBN 0908603917)
  • New Voices in the Dark (新・闇の声 潰談, Shin Yami no Koe Kaidan) (Asahi Sonorama, 2007, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu (猫日記 よん&むー, Neko Nikki Yon to Mū) (Kodansha: 2009, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Black Paradox (ブラックパラドクス, Burakku Paradokusu) (Shogakukan: 2009, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Rasputin the Patriot (憂国のラスプーチン, Yuukoku no Rasputin) (Shogakukan: 2010, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Fragments of Horror (魔の断片, Ma no Kakera) (VIZ: 2015, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Dissolving Classroom (溶解教室, Yōkai Kyoushitsu)[15] (Vertical Inc.: 2017, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Shiver (VIZ: 2017, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Smashed (collection that includes: Yami no Koe and Shin Yami no Koe Kaidan) (VIZ: 2019, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Sensor (センサー, Sensa) (Asahi Sonorama, 2019, ISBN 0908603917)
  • No Longer Human (人間失格, Ningen Shikkaku) (VIZ: 2020, ISBN 0908603917)
  • Venus in the Blind Spot (collection that includes: The Human Chair, Venus in the Blind Spot, The Licking Woman, Keepsake, and more) (VIZ: 2020)
  • Specials and One Shots
    • Phantom Mansion
    • Demons Voice
    • Fixed Face
    • Ghost Heights Management Association
    • Human Chair
    • Junji Ito’s Dog Diary
    • Junji Ito’s Snow White
    • Mountain of Gods
    • Ribs Woman
    • She is a Slow Walker (I Am a Hero spinoff)
    • The Summer Time Graduation Trip
    • Umezz Kazuo & Me
    • Youkai Kyoushitsu


Tomie was adapted into a series of films, beginning in 1999. Several other works of Ito’s have subsequently been adapted for film and television:

  • The Fearsome Melody – (戦慄の旋律 Senritsu no Senritsu), 1992
  • Tomie – (富江 Tomie), 1998
  • Tomie: Another Face – (富江:アナザフェイス Tomie: Anaza Feisu), 1999
  • Tomie: Replay – ( 富江:re-play Tomie: re-play), 2000
  • Uzumaki – (うずまき Uzumaki), 2000
  • Gravemarker Town – (墓標の町 Bohyou no Machi), 2000
  • The Face Burglar– (顔泥棒 Kao Dorobou), 2000
  • The Hanging Balloons – (首吊り気球 Kubitsuri no Kikyuu), 2000
  • Long Dream – (長い夢 Nagai Yume), 2000
  • Oshikiri – (押切 Oshikiri), 2000
  • Kakashi – (案山子 Kakashi), 2001
  • Lovesick Dead (also known as Love Ghost) – (死びとの恋わずらい Shibito no Koiwazurai), 2001
  • Tomie: Re-birth – (富江:Rebirth Tomie: Rebirth), 2001
  • Tomie: The Final Chapter – Forbidden Fruit – (富江 最終章 ?禁断の果実 Tomie: Saishuu-sh? – Kindan no Kajitsu), 2002
  • Marronnier – (マロニエ Marronnier), 2002
  • The Groaning Drain – (うめく排水管), 2004
  • Tomie: Beginning, 2005
  • Tomie: Revenge, 2005
  • Tomie vs Tomie, 2007
  • Tomie Unlimited, 2011
  • Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack, 2012
  • Junji Ito Collection, 2018[16]
  • Uzumaki, 2022[17]


  1. ^ “Interview: Horror Manga Mastermind Junji Ito”. Anime News Network. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c “An Interview With Master of Horror Manga Junji Ito (Full Length Version)”. Grape Japan. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Iwane, Akiko (October 1998). “The Junji Ito Interview: A conversation with the creator of Uzumaki”. Davinch. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Urasawa Naoki no Manben: Itō Junji (S4E2, 2017), NHK Educational TV
  5. ^ “伊藤潤二、佐藤優原作で鈴木宗男事件のドロドロ裏側描く”. Natalie (in Japanese). July 27, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (September 27, 2015). “Silent Hills had another awesome creative talent: horror manga master Junji Ito”. Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  7. ^ “Every Death Stranding Cameo in the game and where to find them”. GamesRadar. November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  8. ^ “Eisner Awards: The Complete Winners List”. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Nomura, Chie (January 9, 2012). “ホラー漫画家・伊藤潤二先生インタビュー / 人気作品『富江』『うずまき』を生んだ奇才” [Horror cartoonist / Professor Junji Ito interview / popular work “Tomie” “Uzumaki”]. RocketNews24.com (in Japanese). Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Ito, Junji (October 16, 2007) [1998]. Uzumaki: Spiral into Horror, Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Viz Media. p. 207. ISBN 0908603917.
  11. ^ Thacker, Eugene (January 30, 2016). “Black illumination: the unhuman world of Junji Itō”. The Japan Times. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Vizmedia, “Drawing Inspired by “Enigma of Amigara Fault” from Junji Ito | VIZ,” YouTube (August 28, 2020), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e20D5_5DhOM
  13. ^ Kyōfu Hakubutsukan at WorldCat
  14. ^ Museum of Terror at Dark Horse Comics
  15. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 13, 2016). “Vertical Licenses Blame!, Dissolving Classroom, Immortal Hounds Manga”. Anime News Network. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  16. ^ Fantasista (February 22, 2018). “The Horrifyingly Beautiful Junji Itō : Collection Exhibit at ACG_Labo – Manga Planet”. Manga Planet. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (September 2, 2019). “Adult Swim Teams with Production I.G for Junji Ito Adaptation ‘Uzumaki’ “. Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2019.

External links[edit]

Junji Ito - Wikipedia Wikimedia Commons has media related to Junji Ito.
Junji Ito - Wikipedia Wikiquote has quotations related to: Junji Ito
  • Junji Ito at Anime News Network’s encyclopedia
  • Junji Ito at IMDb
  • English Fansite
  • Into the Spiral: A Conversation with Japanese Horror Maestro Junji Ito, 78 Magazine, February–March 2006
  • 13 Extremely Disturbing Junji Ito Panels
  • The Horrifyingly Beautiful Junji Itō : Collection Exhibit at ACG_Labo


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