Exhibitions & EventsWhat is Manga?

What is Manga?

We read every day but…What is Manga?

“What is Manga?” exhibition at the main gallery on the second floor seeks to answer questions that visitors may have from multiple perspectives. It explains manga's history and social significance in each categories. In addition, the walls of which are covered in bookshelves that are filled mainly with popular and influential manga from 1945 to 2005, arranged by year (based on Gendai Manga Hakubutsukan, 2006, Shogakukan).

Layout of the Exhibition

  • Manga Media Chronology Manga Media Chronology The evolution of the manga medium, from cartoon magazines in the Bakumatsu period to the present.
  • Manga Lifetime Chronology Manga Lifetime Chronology Shows the diversity of Japanese manga magazines, carefully segmented by age and gender.
  • Is Manga Merely a Child's Thing? Is Manga Merely a Child's Thing? Explains social functions of manga other than entertainment, such as political satire and education.
  • What is TV Manga? What is TV Manga? Introduces of Japan's unique form of animation, 'anime,' which incorporates many of the techniques used in manga.
  • The Making of Manga
  • The Making of Manga
The Making of Manga Shows the process of manga production with real examples of work, the tools used, and videos of the work space.
  • Manga That Rely on Fundamental Principles Manga That Rely on Fundamental Principles Explains the fundamental principles of manga such as how characters' emotions and movements are expressed, the rules of panel lay-out, and other conventions.
  • Manga That Defy the Fundamental Principles Manga That Defy the Fundamental Principles Explains the appeal of manga that defy conventions, through the work of Akatsuka Fujio, a gag manga artist.
  • Are Manga Artists Millionaires? Are Manga Artists Millionaires? Through statistics, shows how manga is part of a large industry with many companies involved.
  • Is Cosplay a Kind of Manga, Too? Is Cosplay a Kind of Manga, Too? Explains of the structure of Japan's manga industry, of which "media mix" and merchandizing of manga characters are a major part.
  • Is Manga Read by People Around the World!? 10Is Manga Read by People Around the World!? Shows how the manga of Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Asia have all influenced each other.
  • A Worldwide Medium 11A Worldwide Medium Introduces 'manga' that aren't Japanese and are done in diverse styles and media, such as Bandes dessinee.
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