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The story of manga, a vibrant form of Japanese narrative art, from its historic roots to its place as a contemporary global phenomenon

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Manga is a visual form of narrative storytelling. Its roots are international, but the form as we know it today developed in Japan between the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has recently achieved global reach. Originally confined to comics, prints and graphic novels, manga has expanded to influence animation, fashion, gaming, street art and new media. It is a multi-billion-pound industry, popular with people of all ages in Japan and increasingly all over the world, encompassing hundreds of themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds. There is a manga for everyone.

For manga fans, this book celebrates the excitement of manga’s cross-cultural appeal and its long history of breaking barriers. For those new to manga, it offers the chance to acquire literacy in what is fast becoming a universal visual grammar for our globalized age.

Arranged into six thematic chapters, with essays by leading scholars, this volume showcases the work of Japan’s most influential mangaka (manga creators) past and present, with printed manga extracts, original drawings, manga magazines, theatre, film, digital technologies and exclusive interviews with artists, editors and publishers.

Published in conjunction with a landmark exhibition at the British Museum, this is manga as Western audiences have never before seen it: diverse yet universally familiar, traditional yet intensely modern, rooted in the 2D printed page but effortlessly leaping out of it.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with Jacket

Size: 26.0 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 23 May 2019

ISBN: 9780500480496

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Understanding Manga through Reading, Drawing and Producing 2. The Power of Storytelling • 3. The Power of Seen and Unseen Worlds • 4. Manga and Society • 5. Motion through Line • 6. Expanding Manga’s Boundaries

About the Author

Dr Nicole Rousmaniere is IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Arts at the British Museum.

Matsuba Ryoko is Senior Digital Humanities Officer at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia.

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