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Manga Origins
From Humble Scrolls to World Domination

Manga Origins
  • One Piece 1 : Romance Dawn Volume No. 1 (by )
  • Golgo 13 1: Volume 1 (by )
  • Naruto 1 : Uzumaki Naruto Volume No. 1 (by )
  • Hokusai (by )
  • Astro Boy Tetsuwan Atom 1: Volume 1 (by )
  • Astro Boy Tetsuwan Atom 2: Volume 2 (by )
  • Astro Boy Tetsuwan Atom 3: Volume 3 (by )
  • The Crater 1 : Two Dramas Volume Vol. 1 (by )
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Japanese comics called "manga" has birthed countless anime shows and movies (which have become a media giant in their own right), cosplay fests around the world, and is now a pivotal part of Japanese cultural identity. Manga is absolutely contemporary, but its roots reach far back into Japanese art history.

Four picture scrolls (emakimono) in the 12th century, known as Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, often shortened to just Chōjū-giga, depict the first inklings of manga. Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga translates to "Scrolls of Frolicking Animals.” Each depicted anthropomorphic monkeys, rabbits, and frogs preparing for ceremonies, wrestling, and attending a funeral. Comic artists to this day still use the technique of drawing character's legs running,  first illustrated in these scrolls. Some dispute this as the first depiction of manga drawings, citing the Shigisan-engi scrolls as the first.

The first full manga book is said to be Toba Ehon, a story that accompanied a collection of drawings about the ordinary life in the Edo Period. The Edo period brought about accordian-style books that allowed for a larger number of images to flow in a continual narrative while still maintaining a compact, portable book form. This furthered the concept of manga, although the term was first used in 1798 upon the release of Shiji no Yukikai by Santo Kyoden. Other influential manga books of the time included Manga Hyakujo and Hokusai Manga.
Manga kicked into high gear after World War II. During their occupancy of Japan, Americans exposed the Japanese to comics and cartoons. Upon seeing cartoon comics like Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse, newspapers and magazines of the 1960s released weekly and monthly serializations of mangas, providing the nurturing platform for manga culture to become the giant of today.

Some of the first successful Manga stories in this boom time include Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy (Vol I, II, and III) and Machiko Hasegawa's Sazae-san. Multiple genres blossomed in the subsequent flood of plentiful and diverse manga. Yoji is for young children, kodomo is for children learning to read, yaol shows romantic relationship between two males and yuri between two females, shonen is directed at young men, and hentai features explicit sexual content.

Some of the most successful manga of all time is One Piece, the best selling manga in history, and Golgo 13, the longest running manga in history.



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