With his winning of the prestigious Alpha Blogger Awards 2010, Tokyo-based cartoonist Junichi Inoue is now recognized as one of the most influential Japanese bloggers.
His blog carries comic strips of amusing episodes about a new life with his young, Chinese wife, Yue, who is in her mid-20s and struggling with cultural and language difficulties in Tokyo.
Hits on the website have risen sharply, especially after last September, when Sino-Japanese ties became strained by a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea — a group of uninhabited islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing.
Inoue, a 40-year-old anime and manga otaku (geek), became convinced that a real-life cartoon depicting a Chinese woman living in Japan would be a hit because Japanese people's interest in their giant neighbor has grown bigger and bigger.
"Everyone wanted a (real-life) Chinese character through which they could understand what the Chinese people are like. It was very strange that there was no manga featuring real-life Chinese characters," he said.
"The number of Chinese-Japanese couples is the largest among international marriages in Japan, but there had been no manga about a couple like that," Inoue added.