Though a girl wandering for happiness, looking for her real mother, is a very common storyline, it was particularly prevailing in those days.
Mitsuo Higashiura published a lot of stories of such unhappy girls in girls’ comic magazines.
In “Shoujo” magazine, he drew “Kanariya-san” “Barairo-Tenshi” “Namida-no-Orgel”, all of which are stories of an orphaned girl in search for happiness.
“Shoujo” is a girls’ magazine that was published from 1949 through 1963 by Kobunsha.
One of its characteristics is that Tomoko Matsushima, a child-star, made the cover approximately all the time during the 1950s.
By the way, in 1957, Higashiura published a biography comic of Tomoko Matsushima “Manga-Monogatari Tomoko-chan” from Kobunsha.
In those days the editorial department of “Shoujo” magazine was committed to true stories and published a series of unhappy stories of which Tomoko actually encountered on the extra editions or the supplements.
In “Manga-Monogatari Tomoko-chan” by Higashiura, Tomoko’s unfortunate early background in which she was deprived of her father due to the war was described at first, and afterwards the sad stories that Tomoko really encountered were presented.
In the early 30s of the Showa era, when people still had a real feeling of the disasters of World War II, what “Shoujo” requred of their symbol Tomoko Matsushima was an image that she kept sadness to herself and shared a search for happiness like the other girls in spite of being a star.
And it was Mitsuo Higashiura that supported it from the side of manga.
Higashiura’s depiction of cute yet unhappy girls seemed to be evaluated by the editorial department as that which expressed the appearance and mentality of Tomoko Matsushima: an icon of the times in those days.
In addition, the author, Seiichi Haruna participated in this sad yet true story series
and collaborated with Higashiura a few times. He wrote several original comics and illustrated stories in some monthly girls’ magazines.
“Hahako-gusa” by him, which narrates the story of a girl who lost her father in an accident,remains in the National Diet Library.