Ecchan #12 (The Final One)

March’s Ecchan manga marks the last in the series. It was a fun series, and I will miss doing it; not only for being fun to do, but also because I think it was a great help for foreign residents who otherwise have to deal with the most draconian garbage laws on planet Earth without much of an explanation. Hopefully some day Ecchan will continue.

An interesting thing happened today as well — just before writing this update, a stork just like Ecchan flew past my window! March is when they migrate back to Japan from China, and considering there are only a few hundred or so in all of Japan, this was a great sighting for me and for my town! The storks are back in Echizen for the summer!

Ecchan #12
Ecchan #12

Panel 1:「この金属製のふたは、何ごみなの?」
What kind of trash is this metal cap?
Panel 2:「金属製なら『燃やせないごみ』」
If it’s a metal cap, it’s non-burnable trash!
Panel 3:「プラスチック製なら、ほとんどが『プラごみ※』だよ。」
If it’s made of plastic, usually it will be puragomi.
Panel 4:「プラごみは資源として再利用されるごみの一つだから、汚れていないことが条件だよ!」
Puragomi is one kind of recyclable trash, so make sure it is not dirty when you throw it out!

All of the Ecchan comics can be viewed in Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and English at the Echizen International Association’s website:

Ecchan #11

February’s Ecchan is the second to last comic in the series. Next month will be the final one.

I mentioned before how each of these monthly comics is accompanied by a page of text detailing the rules in depth for foreigners to correctly separate their trash. Well, now you can see all of the comics with their full descriptions in Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, and English on the newly-redesigned Echizen International Association website. You can find all of the comics here:

Ecchan #11
Ecchan #11

Panel 1: ビンや缶は、全部『資源ごみ』の日に捨てればいいの?
Can I throw out all my glass bottles and cans on recycling day?
Panel 2: 違うよ。『資源ごみ』と『燃やせないごみ』に分かれる。 | え!?どうやって?
No. They are split up into recyclable and non-burnable trash. | What?! How do you know which?
Panel 3: ポイントは、飲食物が入っていたかどうか! | たとえば、ジャムのビンは『資源ごみ』で、化粧品のビンは『燃やせないごみ』だよ!
The main point is whether food was contained in them or not. | For example, a jar of jam would be recyclable, while a makeup jar would be non-burnable trash!


Ecchan #10

Ecchan #10 is out! This is the January 2012 issue.

There’s not much more to say… Night Parade has been keeping me too busy to post much. I’m sure many of you are waiting for an update on the book, so I’m sorry I haven’t been able to give it a decent post in a while. Expect the big announcement on that pretty soon though!

Ecchan #10
Ecchan #10

Panel 1: スプレー缶を捨てるときは、必ず穴を開けないといけないよ。
When you throw away spray cans, you must poke a hole into them.
Panel 2: 他のゴミに混ざっていると、ゴミを回収して運ぶとき、とても危ないんだ!
If you mix them up with other types of trash, when the trash is collected it can be very dangerous!
Panel 3: こわい!じゃあ、スプレー缶は、いつ、どこに捨てればいいの?
That’s scary! So, when and where should I throw spray cans away?
Panel 4: 町内で決まっている『資源ごみの日』に、ゴミステーションで分別して出すよ。
Take it to your trash station on the designated day and throw it in the designated bin!

Ecchan #9

Christmas Ecchan

Happy New Year! I meant to upload this post on Christmas, but the end of December flew by me so quickly that it was January before I even knew it! I’m happy to say that The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons is almost finished, and will be published very soon — hopefully within a month. In the meantime, here is last month’s Ecchan comic, and a Santa Ecchan to celebrate the holiday season. A little late, but better late than never!

I did find out recently that Ecchan will not be renewed next year. That’s a big disappointment, as I really enjoyed making these. There will still be three more comics (up through March) in this series, but that will be the end of the series, unless it ever gets renewed some time in the future. It’s a little puzzling to me, as city hall has spent so much time, money, and energy trying to reinvent Echizen this year as a) a hot spot for storks, and b) an ecologically restored, clean and green town. Hopefully this just means a change of direction, and not that the move to promote ecology and wildlife was just a one-year fad… but it’s hard to tell with politicians and bureaucrats.

Anyway, on to December’s comic:

Ecchan #9

Panel 1:「プラごみ*はプラスチックとして再利用されるよ。」
“‘Puragomi’ is recycled as plastic.”

Panel 2:「汚れていたら、水でさっと汚れを流そう!」「え!?ゴミなのにどうして洗うの?」
“If it’s dirty, wash it out with water!”  “Huh!? Even though it’s trash, I have to wash it?”

Panel 3:「汚れがあるとリサイクルできないないんだ。」
“That’s because it can’t be recycled if it is dirty.”

Panel 4:「資源を大切にするために、私たちも協力しなくちゃね!」
“We all have to work together to conserve resources!”

Ecchan #8

It’s now well into November, and I am enjoying the beautiful fall colors here in Japan! Though while the mountains are like huge heaping piles of color that fill up the entire horizon, there’s something to be said on the smaller scale for the lush tree-filled avenues of New Jersey. Even Japan’s rural towns are asphalt jungles, and the only non-paved land is generally used for agriculture, so there are precious few trees in the towns. Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all no matter where you live!

This month’s Ecchan comic has been finished and continues the theme of separate trash. Looking at it here I often forget that we’re seeing a slightly incomplete version, as that funny brown bar at the top demonstrates. That empty space is used, along with a large area below the comic, for extra information on the month’s topic. So if it looks strange on this site, that’s normal! Today’s comic doesn’t make much sense on its own, but it headlines an article detailing the proper way to separate plastic trash from other nonburnable trash.

Ecchan #8
Ecchan #8

Panel 1: 「プラゴミ」って、プラスチック製のゴミのこと?
“Puragomi…” does that mean plastic garbage?
Panel 2: ううん、ちがうよ。商品の容器や包装に使われていたビニール製のゴミが「プラごみ」なんだ!
Not quite. Plastic containers and plastic wrappers are classified as “puragomi.”
Panel 3: ほら、このプラマークが目印だよ!
Look, here is the “puragomi” mark!

Ecchan #7

It’s been a quiet month on my blog, primarily due to my yokai book taking up nearly 100% of my time, leaving me none to write here — but also because I’m beginning to see how social networking is making blogs obsolete. It’s a lot easier for me to make a quick post to my Facebook page than it is for me to write up a long, detailed post here. On the same note, interacting with the Facebook page is easier than posting comments on a blog. With that in mind I am pondering the direction to take my blog, as it will definitely need a redesign to coincide with the read of Night Parade. I think the way to go is more integration with social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ in order to make communication with fans easier, while using this website as more of a portolio with updates solely about my artwork. This kind of conforms to the way I have been using it in recent months: fewer updates on the blog, but each update will have more substance and be related to my artwork. Other kinds of posts seem more suited to the environment of social networking sites, so you’ll see them on Facebook, Google+ and so on!

Halloween Ecchan
Halloween Ecchan

Anyway, on to the main topic of this post! The October edition of Ecchan.

Obviously I wanted to do a Halloween-themed Ecchan, which you can see to the right. The story doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween, but it’s nice to keep up with the seasons somehow, especially considering that Japan is so in-touch with seasonal changes that to let them go by unnoticed seems weird.

This month continues the same topic as before. Here is the script:

Panel 1: CDラジカセこわれたから、買ったんだ!
“My CD player broke, so I bought this!
Panel 2:これはどうやって捨てるの?
How do we throw this away?
Panel 3:小型家電は「燃やせないごみ」だよ。
Small consumer electronics go in “nonburnable garbage!”
Panel 4: 電池は必ず取り出して、有害ごみ(※)として捨てるよ。
Make sure you take out the batteries, and treat them as hazardous garbage!

Ecchan #7
Ecchan #7

Ecchan #6

Tsukimi Ecchan
Tsukimi Ecchan

My site has been pretty quiet for a while now, due to me working on yokai paintings. Last year at this time I would be restarting the A-Yokai-A-Day project for the month of October, but the fact that I am doing this book means that the past A-Yokai-A-Day projects were successful enough. 🙂

Of course if you’re a backer of my Kickstarter project you’ve been getting a new yokai almost every day in your mailbox since July, when I started for painting this project. Now I am entering month 4 of non-stop daily yokai painting, and I have crossed the halfway point, with over 60 of the 100 final images completed. Right on schedule! Only 2 months left to go…

In the meantime, while I can’t show my new yokai paintings on my blog just yet (that’s private for backers of the project), I can show the other art I’m working on at the same time. Here is last month’s issue of Kounotori Ecchan no Eco-na Hanashi. It continues August’s theme of properly disposing of non-burnable garbage, and features a Fukui prefecture staple: the Echizen crab! If your wondering if Japan’s garbage disposal system is really so complicated that it takes months of comic strips just to explain it, the answer is YES!

I also did a tsukimi (moon-viewing) Ecchan for the footer text, which you can see to the left!

Anyway, here is the comic, and the English translation:

Panel 1: 陶器なども「燃やせないゴミ」だよ!
Ceramic-ware is unburnable garbage!
Panel 2: 割れてなくても、新聞紙などに包んで透明のゴミ袋に「キケン」と書こう!
Even if it’s not broken, wrap it up in newspaper and put it in a clear plastic bag marked “Dangerous!”
Panel 3: ゴムや皮の製品も「燃やせないゴミ」!
Rubber and leather are also unburnable garbage!
Panel 4: ゴミを細かくする機械にひっかからないよう、長いゴミは適当に切ってね!
Cut long items up into small enough pieces that they won’t get caught in the trash processing machines!

Ecchan #6
Ecchan #6