Manga I Would Buy: FukuyaDou Honpo by Yuchi Yayomi

hanpo girls

This manga holds a very special place in my heart where love and the imperfect family merge to make a heartwarming, tenacious tale.

The story revolves around the Fukuyoshi family, a mother and three daughters, who run a Japanese confectionery shop in Kyoto. Their shop has been in the family for 17 generations, over 450 years–the last few generations have been through the women.

As the story takes place in one of Japan’s most traditional areas, immediately you’re thrown into Japan-specific terminology. Such as noren: the cloth curtains on shop doorway or entrances with the families’ brand or crest or calling characters tanuki (as many who’ve read manga are happy to recognize, means “raccoon”). Customs specific to the Kyoto area are even explained for the reader. When the characters speak in round-about dialogue while talking about money, or even (not) holding hands, the narration jumps in to help the reader understand. Throughout the story there are tea ceremonies, calligraphy lessons and Kabuki theater–all very traditional parts of Japan.

Fukuya makes wagashi. Wagashi is a Japanese confectionary that plays an important role in tea ceremonies. The trials the Fukuyoshi family endures revolves many times around the success, and love, of the store.

mother.jpg
Obasan

The madam of Fukuya, the mother of three young daughters, is a tough, shrewd woman who has navigated the traditional business-landscape of Kyoto by herself for the last 10 years. Though it is obvious she loves all her children in her own way, her own expectations of them has caused difficulties in her daughters’ relationships and heartache through misunderstandings.

 

hina3
Hana-onee-chan

Eldest daughter and expected successor, Hina, is a reserved, smart young woman with a complete understanding of the shop’s business. Her life has been directed by her mother’s expectations. She’s the perfect example of a Kyoto lady.

 

arare1
Arare-chan

Arare, second daughter, is jobless, dreamless, and spends her time drinking and betting with her friends. Her strong personality equals that of her mother which causes them to perpetually be at each others’ throats.

 

hana
Hana-chan!!

The youngest daughter, Hana, is still in middle school and loves the shop immensely. She’s incredibly observant, and is the voice of narration for the reader to learn about Kyoto and her family. Hana is very tall for a middle schooler, which causes some anxiety for her when she’s next to her crush.

 

True to some family dynamics, the sisters voice opinions of each other–Even though they’ve known each other forever, their observations are not always correct. As the story progresses, they realize their assumptions were wrong and they’ve hurt their sister from their actions on the stereotype.

sharing a meal
Eating ramen after understanding more about each other

The story walks through the lives of each of these daughters, weaving through their daily lives, marriages and loves. None of it comes easy, though, in the culture that doesn’t speak its mind. The end result is that it all culminates in love, familial or for their significant other.

There’s a marvelous 11 volumes to read through the lives of these enigmatic women. A definite must-have as a hard copy!

Do you have a manga you wish you could have in your hands? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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As an avid reader of manga scans, I click through the fan-translated manga pretty quick. Many times, I don’t recall the name of the manga once I click on a new page. Or the characters’ names. Or the plot.

Other times, though, there is a series that captures my attention that I keep going back to.

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7 thoughts on “Manga I Would Buy: FukuyaDou Honpo by Yuchi Yayomi

  1. Hi there! It’s Tetashi Saya from Youtube! Very nice article about FukuyaDou Honpo. I’m sure the read will be a fun ride. As for a manga I would like to have in hard copy (and I do already!), that would be Zig Zag by Yuki Nakaji. It’s about flowers, and three boys who are friends.
    ~ Of course, with three boys, there are teases of homosexual acts, as are the joys of having teases in the first place, along with adorable (although one might say arguably typical) characters. Then there’s romance and love triangles and all that is resolved in the end.
    ~ I’d say what makes the manga stand out from the rest is that, okay first of all, there’s an unrequited love. And the guy eventually wishes her all the best. He even plays a part in her wedding. Okay, that not stand-outtish enough for you? Okay fine. Well the art style sold me over because of the Chinese-y style reflected in the eyes. And the way Nakaji draws hair and her fashion sense displayed through the characters’ clothes, is always nice to look at.
    ~ And of course there’s the fact that it’s a story about plants. Flowers, specifically. I studied horticulture in poly(technic), so I like all this stuff. And I like flower arrangement, bouquets, artistic expressions/art forms through plants, you know like stuff you showcase at art exhibitions, so this manga was right up my alley. (And yes I like deep meanings and psychology and all that so yeah I think you can see where my love for this manga comes from)
    ~ What else… I think that’s about it. OH and there’s the fact that they set up a flower club. Where anything request is accepted as long as it can be solved by flowers. I guess I’ve always wanted to be in a flower club too, well I just ENJOY being in ANY club actually, but yeah, flowers + club is like two bonuses.
    ~ And I guess the last thing that’s unique about this manga is the main character *is awarded Most Cliche Line Of The Century* okay but hear me out. He’s awkward, he’s always flustered and way too energetic (like me actually *you raise your eyebrows at the obvious fact that my reason for liking this manga is self-glorification*), he is passionate, he makes mistakes, he stumbles, and yet he always shoots for the stars. He hasn’t a drop of shame or some might say, any sense of dignity or reputation to preserve. And I think that’s exactly what I’m like.

    Both of us aren’t afraid to shoot for the stars, to try things out, no matter how experienced or inexperienced we are at something. Some may call us wilful, but I like to think of us as always up for a challenge, always open to ideas, always adventuring. And that is what I think is so endearing about the both of us, the fact that we never turn away from a new adventure, and we always have this desire to try out something, anything, as long as it is new and refreshing, at times a bit scary and fear-inducing, a little oh-my-god-i’m-going-to-embarrass-myself feeling, but always, ALWAYS rewarding, and always enriching.

    And that is why I think Zig Zag is a manga you simply HAVE to read and own. But if you can’t get the physical copy, you can always read it online. I’m not sure all of it is uploaded though, which is a shame. Nakaji also did Love for Venus, which was like her shot to fame manga, but it’s STILL not completed.

    OH YES ONE MORE THING ABOUT WHY NAKAJI’S WORKS ARE AWESOME (because I also own a volume of Love for Venus)
    ~ They’re relatable stories. I know lots of stories, or maybe all stories, are relatable, but Nakaji’s kind of relatable is like the kind where you really feel like you’re in the story, and you’re friends with the main character, and you just wanna reach out and help them with their problems, and find out what’s wrong, and just make things better. I guess that’s what Nakaji does.
    ~ And as for Zig Zag, the main character is also just very eccentric (like me). He’s so weird, he offends people, he’s clumsy, he’s an open book; he’s a whole range of emotions. It’s entertaining just WATCHING him (like me). But even if he offends people, he has such a CHARM about him. That’s it. That’s what I was looking for. He has a charm about him, in all his clumsy little ways, and he’s just so honest and earnest and pure of heart. And that is why I love the main character. You just wanna squeeze him into a tight hug and give him a good o’l noogie.

    AND YES I’M DONE HAHAHA
    I GUESS I WAS JUST TRYING REALLY HARD TO REMEMBER WHAT THE HELL IS SO GOOD ABOUT NAKAJI’S WORKS
    PHEW
    *wipes brow*

    THANK YOU for reading all this, haha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahaaha!!! Great post, Saya! Thank you for the recommendation!! I’m surprised I haven’t read anything by that mangaka before. (I just checked a list of her books). I love the idea of flowers being the center of the story (I recall Yuu Watase’s Tanpopo integrated this). The story sounds utterly adorable! I can’t wait to get started!!!

      Your post is so wonderful! If you ever want to guest post about a manga you would love (or recommend others do!) to own, I’d love to have you on the blog!!

      Like

      1. Hey Mikaela, sorry I took so long to reply! XD
        I wonder if you thought I wasn’t going to reply at all.

        Anyways, thank you!
        I’ve always been a writer…
        And no prob, it’s a joy to be able to share new stories with others, and opinions and whatnot. ^^

        And oh my goodness. Imadoki looks like the gardening version of Ouran. XD
        Imma check it out.
        Thanks for the rec!

        Hahahaha, alright!
        I’ll keep that in mind.

        I’m more of a “answer questions” kinda person though, so all I need is a prompt, and I’ll just fire away! XD

        Hmm, thinking about other manga I would like to recommend…
        I’m thinking of Mirmo Zibang.

        Like

      2. I FORGOT TO SAY.

        Yet ANOTHER reason you should own Zig Zag is because of the beautiful arrangement artwork.

        The detail is crazy good.

        You have to own it to be able to close in on the details and strokes and penmanship and all that good stuff.

        ‘Cos plants are kinda hard to draw, let alone arrangements.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tetashi Saya from Youtube here! WordPress ate up my long comment, so I’ll just say nice article. And the manga I own that I really like is Zig Zag by Yuki Nakaji. The main character reminds me of myself, and it is about flowers which I really like.

    Liked by 1 person

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