Japan = Manga


Japan = Manga. Many people get to know Japan from a comic book like Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, One Piece or any other one on this top 100 list (https://goo.gl/rBXvKV). Not like in other foreign countries, where manga is mainly popular among children or young people, in Japan, people from all ages read manga. It is not unusual to see a black-tie suit サラリーマン, working class salaryman focusing on a pocket manga book in the subway after a long day.

There was an explosion of artistic creativity in Japan during post-war period late 1940s. Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka became widely popular around Japan and the world later. The child-looking robot created by a scientist that lost his son ended up being a super hero with extremely high intelligence and special skills. Astro Boy's story probably falls into the scope of Shōnen Pakku, the type of manga that targets at young male audience up to 30 years old. To find romantic love stories, Shōnen Pakku, manga for girls is a better place. Originated from magazines, developed to anime, manga industry in Japan amounted to 445.4 billion yen (about US$3.91 billion) in 2016, almost 1/3 of the total physical and digital publishing industry. (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/…/japan-manga-marke…/.113129)

Despite the humongous size of the industry, mangaka (manga artists) is a super competitive career at a low pay to start with.Starting salaries can be less than $500 a month. A background artist may make around $1,000 a month until he/she becomes famous. Mangaka is still a dream job for many people in Japan so majority work it part-time. It is said only 1 out of 100,000 manga artists can really succeed or make a sustainable living out of it. Kyoto Seika University, which established the country's first manga program, accepts hundreds of students annually all the way through its PhD program in Manga. No doubt that Japan has the highest level of manga creation, marketing and education in the world.

You can never get bored with Japanese manga as it has so much to tell.

(Leave comment below if you'd like to share your story with Japanese manga. We love to hear from you 

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