The Development of Japanese Manga and Anime
Manga is a Japanese word that is generally used to refer to comics or cartoons while Anime is a term used to refer to animation, also originating from Japan. The origin of manga can be traced to the 18th century. The word was used for the first time in 1798 in Japan to describe Shiji no yukikai, a picture book. The term resurfaced again in 1814 when it was used as the title of books written by Akinwai Minwa; Hokusai Manga and Manga Hyakujo. These books contained drawings that had been made by Hokusai, a famous Japanese woodlock print artist. The above facts dispel and clarify the popularised myth that manga was invented by Hokusai (McCloud 79). Schodta (152) explains that one millennium prior to the time Hokusai applied the term manga to a collection of his works, there already existed cartoonist drawings in Japan. However, it is questionable if the styles used in these drawings qualified them to be described as manga. The definition of Will Eisner, an American cartoonist, of comics as sequential art provides a basis of making judgement. The picture scrolls that were found in medieval Japan are good examples of sequential art. Generally, they combine text and pictures to convey stories or describe events. The similarities between these scrolls and modern manga are how they look and work. The significant difference lies in the fact that modern-day manga are produced chiefly for mass consumption whereas picture scrolls were produced for an elite audience, and thus they were produced as singular works of art. The production of Manga-like medium designed for popular consumption can be traced to the late 18th century. During this time, there was a growing group of middle class merchants which came up with a vibrant consumer culture. They produced storybooks called kibyoshi meaning "yellow covers" which were printed using wood block technology. The story books were meant for adults and one characteristic of the books is...
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