Fumio Obata

Fumio Obata's style and work are influenced by both Japanese and European aesthetics and he explores an idea of pictorial storytelling rather than staying in conventional comic strip format as his interest spans across various sequential image designs.

Fumio Obata (born 1975, Tokyo) is a graphic novelist whose work focuses on cultural heritages and social issues. His graphic novels include ‘Just So Happens’ (Jonathan Cape, 2014) and ‘The Garden’ (Liminal 11, 2019) written by a Japan based Scottish author Sean Michael Wilson. He is a lecturer of Illustration at the University of Gloucestershire. His style and work are influenced by both Japanese and European esthetics.

Fumio has developed a strong interest in reportage comics by following the aftermath of 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that damaged northern Japan. His theme expands into mechanism of interrelationship between state and people, but through personal experience.

In summer 2022, he participated a residency programme between LIFAC and Czech Literature Centre in Prague to explore the legacy of Franz Kafka through his reportage comic style.

He is currently working on Graphic Novel projects with Harper Alley Books US and Gallimard Jeunesse in France both of which investigate Japanese culture through martial arts and food.

His published books are: 

L’incroyable Histoire de La Souce Soja (2011) La Pastèque, Montreal

Just So Happens (2014) Jonathan Cape, Random House, London

The Garden (as illustrator, 2020) Liminal11, London

 The Spirit of Japan (as illustrator, 2021) Liminal11, London


Web: fumioobata.co.uk