YONAGO, Tottori Prefecture--After quitting his job as an auto mechanic, Hiroaki Komura, 31, shut himself away for an entire year to devote himself to his true passion: illustration.
Komura was born in the 1980s. As a child, he was fascinated by manga titles running in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology such as "Dragon Ball" and "Slamdunk," and loved reproducing his favorite battle scenes.
After graduating from high school, Komura landed a job as an auto mechanic. As he spent his entire time repairing large trucks day after day, he drifted away from drawing manga.
But when Komura was 25 years old, he decided to quit his job in order to put all his effort into doing what he loved.
During his year of seclusion, he produced about 3,000 illustrations.
The illustrations he posted on his Facebook page opened doors for him to begin his professional manga career.
Now an illustrator at Yonago-based manga production company La-Comic, Komura is currently working on a fantasy adventure manga inspired by the eighth-century "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters), the oldest chronicle in Japan.
Titled "Megami Jusshin" (Ten goddesses), the manga revolves around a high school boy living in Yonago. It was presented at the Tokyo International Anime Fair held in late March, and Komura is preparing to publish it over the Internet.
"I want to draw comics that go beyond the imaginations of readers," he said.
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