Type: academic work (thesis)
Published: January 2015 (second version), December 2010 (original).
Description: The last years of the 20th century saw Japan's popular culture garnering much attention around the world. This attention was followed by the commercial success of exported cultural commodities from Japan. In the heart of both the attention and the commercial success of Japan's popular culture lie the Japanese comic books and animation shows (called manga and anime respectively). This work focuses on the image of manga in Japan throughout the years. It asks the question, how did manga transform from an unofficial and controversial art to being a national art which represent Japan in the 21st century?
To answer this question two important factors that influenced the image of manga in Japan will be inspected. The first is amateur manga (dōjinshi) and how it coexisted with professional manga along the years. The second is the success of manga and anime in the West, and how it changed the way Japan views manga. This work is about the regulation, marketing and evolution of manga. It shows how creativity, ingenuity and an avant garde attitude can transform a poor and unsupported form of entertainment in the 20th century into an art form which represents Japan in the beginning of the 21st century.