The Day I Was Forced to Marry God: The Cult Known as Jehovah's Witnesses - Part 1

Tamosan, trans. from the Japanese by Ailie Brotherton. Digital Manga, $15.95 mass market (146p) ISBN 978-1-56970-390-8
In this emotionally raw debut memoir manga, Tamosan describes growing up in, and eventually breaking with, a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Japan. Tamosan’s conversion begins with her mother taking her to “English lessons” that consist of reading religious tracts. Over time, Tamosan is forced out of “worldly” activities and pushed toward a future in “pioneering,” or constant evangelizing, and becomes troubled by the congregation’s insularity, encouragement of child abuse, and practice of shunning sinners and ex-members. But, she meets a like-minded young man in the Witnesses and builds a stable marriage, until their young son’s need for a blood transfusion forces a crisis of faith, given the Witnesses’ opposition to the procedure. Tamosan doesn’t mince words in her belief that her former religion is a cult and a “poverty industry.” Written originally for a Japanese audience who may be unfamiliar with Christianity in general, let alone its fundamentalist sects, the framing is as an exposé of exotic practices. Some details will be familiar to Westerners (handing out copies of The Watchtower), while others are unique to Japan (Jehovah’s Witness–branded chopsticks). The wobbly art features big-headed characters emoting against scribbly backgrounds. There are some rough edges in this outing, but Tamosan’s vulnerability and anger make for a captivating account of life in a restrictive religious community. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/30/2020
Genre: Comics
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