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Text from the East Asia Manga Summit

In 1996, we started “MANGA Summit”. At that time this event was called “East Asian MANGA Summit”. The text of this page is the text from “1st East Asian MANGA Summit”. “The joy that the own culture is accepted by others, the joy of supporting one another, the joy of growing together and the joy of creating a future on a common culture to as many people as possible.” This excitement and passion is making “MANGA Summit” even now, after time.

“Manga is a word spoken worldwide.”

From the 1st East Asia Manga Summit in 1996

 In the late 1940s, a young man created a new culture in Japan all by himself. Nobody in Japan ever imagined it would grow into a self-standing culture of its own. That man was Osamu Tezuka. He completely broke from the image of“manga”that had existed before him. It was the time when Manga was a tool to show the ways of the world in interesting and amusingly deformed illustrations. A single-frame cartoon spoofed the world with the power of illustration. A four-frame strip tickled the reader’s humor. And, a story manga was a readable form of“quick entertainment”that stimulated the interest and sense of adventure in children. The framing, layout, placement of text balloons and character movements were every bit that of a theatrical performance on stage. Tezuka’s work was different. He used a mix of large and small frames, and effectively positioned long shots and close-ups, transforming the manga visual from the“theatrical performance”of the past into a“movie.”Moreover, his characters were troubled with hardships. Although manga characters of the past sometimes had a think, they never went as far as to show their internal struggles. That was because it was unnecessary for“entertaining children.” Tezuka, instead, showed it all. With his themes and character developments, he tried everything. He turned everything in this world into drama. He strongly believed that there was nothing from comedy to drama that could not be depicted via manga, including fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, animals, history, campus life, sword-fighting plays, etc. The readers who came across Tezuka’s work dove into the world of manga, shocked and, at the same time, fascinated by and admiring his expression. Unsatisfied as being readers, they sought to express their own views of the world with Tezuka’s style of manga and, with that, they captivated the readers, luring them into this entertaining world. The world of“Japanese story manga”Tezuka started expanded into a broad-based pyramid. So, what in Tezuka’s style of manga drew the interest of young readers?

 It was because it was a“work of art.” apan’s story manga have basically developed as the“work”of a single individual who, with ambition and passion, creates the storyline, script, framing, layout and illustrations. It is a world where one person does it all. This is why so many people have been drawn to this new mode of expression. Because it was so different from American comic books, it was long believed that only Japanese people would accept Japan’s story manga. However … More than twenty years ago, we heard here and there that Japanese story manga were being read in various countries of Asia. Pirated versions had popped up overseas. Before even thinking about copyright issues, we were astonished that Japan’s story manga were being read outside of Japan. Moreover, the works that Japanese readers liked were popular amongst children elsewhere just the way they were. My astonishment changed to joy. We felt,“We share the same culture!” Japan and the nations of Asia have a long history between them. Japan grew as a state on the cultures conveyed from China and the Korean Peninsula. And, in this past century, Japan forced its culture on the nations of Asia, leading to regrettable relations between us. Manga is a“culture”that has been spontaneously accepted and cultivated without anyone forcing it upon others. It is the first element of Japanese culture in history to take root in Asian nations by natural means. And now, we are establishing strong connections via the common culture of“manga.” Now, in Europe and even in the USA where the American comic book was the mainstream, this Japanese-style manga is accepted and drawing interest to the point that manga artists who“create personal works in the Japanese style”have emerged. Today,“manga”is a word spoken around the world. It is recognized as a format and has become a common culture.

 We want more people to know this joy. We want to share this joy with people who helped manga bud and take root in different countries. Together, we can make it known to even more people to share as a common culture. The idea of the East Asia Manga Summit is to further support this common culture by interacting with East Asian countries that welcomed Japanese manga early on. In staging the East Asia Manga Summit, it is our wish to show and share the excitement and passion that comes from the joy that the own culture is accepted by others, the joy of supporting one another, the joy of growing together and the joy of creating a future on a common culture to as many people as possible.

Planning Committee , ASIAN MANGA SUMMIT