Manga Culture 5, -life of manga artist-

Hi there! How are you doing?  It’s Manga Culture 5 today, and this time, I want to conclude the Manga Culture  series that I’ve been writing for dividing into 4 articles. Manga related posts are down below and please take your time to read them if you are interested.

みなさん、こんにちは。今回は、これまで論じて来たManga Culture 1-4の完結編を書きます。マンガに関する記事はこちらをお読み下さい。

Manga Culture 1, -our geeky spirit-
Manga Culture 2, -the diversity-
Manga Culture 3, -the long history-
Manga Culture 4, -Captain Tsubasa-
We love MANGA, Asari chan
We love MANGA, kochi-kame
Otaku=Geek, the art of classification

As I’ve written so far, manga culture is thriving richly and cherished in this Japanese society, however, in one aspect manga is not in the main stream always. Manga was regarded as a counter culture or sub culture that it was considered to be a little inferior to the main one.


It is a manga corner of a second hand bookstore. In Japan, it was often said and believed that you will be stupid if you read nothing but manga. And I assume pretty large number of people share the same experience that scolded by parents when child, saying not to read manga too much but we ought to study harder. Even though, I think the line “not to read manga too much” is very Japanese and it reflects our culture so well. It sure is interesting in a sense.


In English the one who produces manga as a professional is respectfully called as a manga artist. Yet it might sound very peculiar for many Japanese. Because, the word manga artist in Japanese (manga-ka) used to recall some negative image for Japanese. (I found the picture on the internet, it was featured on a TV program before.)


The reason why people react that way is that we associate the very demanding job of manga artist. They have many deadlines and the pay is low and they have to work day and night, often the times too busy to take a bath nor wash hair. And under the rigorous circumstance, they devote themselves to create manga.


However, if you desire to give birth to something truly creative and accept all the challenges, you make tremendous efforts. And on the flip side of yourself, there is huge amount of energy. It might be not superficially pretty, and some agonies are hidden also. Manga culture was born in Japan and our geeky spirit enhanced the culture to this remarkable stage. I think I can say it is directly connected to our Japanese identity.


This time I wrote a series of Manga Culture 1-5, I read some books and a magazine regarding manga both in English and Japanese. English books were written from view points of non-Japanese and the Japanese magazine was written form the perspective of Japanese. And I added up my point of view as a Japanese who was born and raised in Japan. Manga was there since I was born and it has been so close to me just like for all the Japanese people. I’m so glad and proud of our manga and otaku=geek culture that attracts so many people all over the world. I’m so delighted to be a member of our Cool Japan culture.

今回、このManga Culture の記事を5回に分けて書くにあたって、英語(外国人からの視点)と日本語(日本人からの視点)の文献を何冊か読み込みました。それらの書籍に書いてあったことを参考にしつつ、日本生まれ日本育ちで物心ついた時からマンガが暮らしの中にあった私の視点を絡ませて内容を展開させて来ました。マンガ文化やオタク文化が世界で憧れられるクールな対象になって来ていることを、一日本人として嬉しく誇らしく思っています。


Manga Culture 1~5 参考文献
* “A GEEK IN JAPAN”  by Hector Garcia,   TUTTLE
* “JAPAN A Guide to Traditions, Customs and Etiquette” by Boye Lafayette de Mente,  TUTTLE
* 「和樂 一、二月号 2016 特集天才絵師”北斎”の大研究」小学館

That’s all, I would be so happy if you thoroughly enjoyed the articles of manga here! Blessings to each one of you! See you soon.


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