Saturday, February 18, 2006

japanese manga


i have become very fascinated with japanese manga especially since i found bilingual manga for sale at a bookshop in narita airport. japan is one of three great comic producing nations in the world. the other two are the united states and france. but i think the scale and popularity of comics in japan is at a much higher level than in the other countries. there are more than 3000 professional manga artists living in japan churning out dozens of comic strips each of which can claim readership of over a million each.

the word manga in japanese originally omes from two chinese ideographs "capricious" and "images" which referred to clever pictures. in japan you have manga devoted to every demographic including senior citizens.

i picked up the first volume of three manga which caught my fancy. i then hope to ask my japanese colleagues to mail me all the other volumes of the ones i like. i am most intrigued by "the wonderful world of sazae-san" by machiko hasegawa, japan's first successful woman comic manga artist. the heroine is a cheerful and scatterbrained housewife who has a very ordinary life. the period is post-war japan when japanese life was marked by food shortages and grim conditions. for those of us unfamiliar with japanese culture, this manga gives a glimpse into the daily lives of an average family, their hopes and desires.

i think that in 2006 manga will take off globally in a big way.


Blogger rums said...

lools manga is very big already across the world, millions of translated comics sell in the US every year. the graphic novel genre is growing in appeal, i suggest you check out 'the watchmen' by alan moore and dave gibbons, it is a great read. alan moore is a cult graphic novel author. in case you like alan moore, then you should check out 'maus', and the sandman series. that is, if you really get hooked to comics at all.

11:33 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi rums
you are probably right though i have to say that having lived in the us for five years, i never once heard about manga either at work or at home. will definitely check out alan moore's work.

12:10 pm  
Blogger gs said...

lulu,anime(animation) and manga(graphic novels) have been capturing the imagination of all demographic groups in japan for more than 50 to 60 is a very dynamic form of popular and material culture in japan.written words are very powerful communicators.add it to it art.the synergistic effect is india, our first and very successful animation movie was 'hanuman'.it is what the japs would call 'anime'.and chandamama comics are 'manga'.comics are catching up in india too.and it has become a booming industry.though it caters mainly to children unlike in japan.

12:31 am  
Blogger qaminante said...

And I thought Belgium was at least as well-known as France for comic books (bandes dessinées), e.g. Tintin...

9:23 pm  

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