In this excerpt from "Four Immigrants Manga," two friends arrive in San Francisco shortly after the 1906 earthquake.
In this excerpt from “Four Immigrants Manga,” two friends arrive in San Francisco via Hawaii shortly after the 1906 earthquake.

SAN FRANCISCO — “The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924” will be discussed by Frederik Schodt and Peter Goodman on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St. in San Francisco.

Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama arrived in San Francisco from Japan in 1904, at the age of 19. He studied fine art at the city’s Art Institute, but in 1931 wound up publishing what is arguably America’s first graphic novel, perhaps even its first “comic book.”

Schodt’s translation of this work was published in 1999 by Stone Bridge Press of Berkeley under the title of “The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924.” In 2000, it was a finalist in the USA Pen/West translation award.

Join Mechanics’ Institute member Schodt along with Stone Bridge Press president and publisher Goodman for an updated talk on this remarkable book, which is attracting more and more attention among both scholars and comic book fans.

Schodt is an award-winning author of numerous non-fiction books on the convergence of Japanese and American popular cultures. A long-term resident of San Francisco, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in 2009 for helping to introduce and promote Japanese contemporary popular culture. His website is

Goodman is a graduate of Cornell University and lived for 10 years in Tokyo, where he worked as an editor for English-language publishers Charles E. Tuttle and Kodansha International before returning to the U.S. in 1985. He has served as in-house editor, ghostwriter, translator, and project manager on hundreds of Japan- and Asia-related titles. He established Stone Bridge in 1989. He is past president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and is currently an Executive Committee member and treasurer of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). Visit

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Taryn Edwards at (415) 393-0103 or visit

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