Transgender issues in 1980s Tokyo. That's Dokudami Tenement 3's theme in this dark story of Yoshio's friendship with a troubled transgender salaryman Frankie. This story pulls no punches and is likely to offend some. 132 pages inc. biography.
Dokudami Tenement (Japanese: 独身アパートどくだみ荘) is a Japanese gekiga manga series written and illustrated by Takashi Fukutani.
Initially serialized in Japanese in the pages of Weekly Manga Times from May 18, 1979 until April 2, 1993, the work was hugely popular and subsequently collected into 35 volumes by the Japanese publisher Houbunsha. Total sales of Dokudami Tenement are recorded at 5 million copies. The series is currently out of print, however e-book volumes have been published.
Set in Tokyo during the 1980s, the work explores and deals with many subcultures and social issues that were prominent at the time, such as Japanese traditional customs,yakuza, recreational drug use, drug addicts, infidelity, fetishism, alcoholism, poverty, and isolation. Takashi Fukutani stated a number of times that the stories, characters and settings in Dokudami Tenement are semi-autobiographical and are based on his own life experiences during his time in the towns of Asagaya, and Koenji (both located in Suginami-ku, West Tokyo).
The series depicts the highs and lows a young man named Yoshio who is employed as a day labourer in civil construction sites during the Japanese asset price bubble period.
Dokudami is the Japanese name for Houttuynia cordata, a flowering plant native to Japan. It is often considered a weed and grows in damp and shady places. 'Doku' is also the word for poison in Japanese.