` Spirits of Action: Japanese Manga and Sports

原作/恵本裕子、脚色・構成・作画/小林まこと『JJM 女子柔道部物語』第1巻(講談社、2016年) ©小林まこと/講談社

Spirits of Action: Japanese Manga and Sports

Being an avid manga reader and a sport fanatic may seem to be mutually exclusive characteristics. In Japanese manga history, however, they have always been a good match and played well together in attracting manga fans as well as enthusiastic sports players. From tennis to judo, a huge variety of sports have been a source of inspiration for the ‘sports manga’ form of the graphic novel read by girls, boys, and young adults alike, and the genre has kept driving the market and readership forward. Certain works have gained huge momentum and have become a trend in Japanese society. The genre’s continuing popularity and influence is proven in the fact that many ‘sports manga’ titles have been adapted into other media such as film and animation.

In the lead up to TOKYO2020 (postponed to next year), the Japan Foundation has invited YOSHIMURA Kazuma of Kyoto Seika University to talk about the inseparable relationship between manga and sports. Succinctly tracing its history from post-war to today, YOSHIMURA will discuss the position of ‘sports manga’ in Japanese culture and how its contents have evolved to reflect the time, society and people’s spirits, and indeed how the genre has managed to keep attracting Japanese readers, as well as manga artists, even while changing its shape.

About the speaker

YOSHIMURA Kazuma completed coursework for a Ph.D. program at Ritsumeikan University. He currently serves as the head of the Faculty of Manga, as well as at the International Manga Research Center. His field of research is in the history of philosophy and manga studies. Yoshimura’s published work includes Manga’s Handling of Prejudice (2007), Manga Textbook (2008), Multiple Hiroshima (2012), ‘Chiran’ as a convenient manga experience – Media dynamics of ‘Authentic record on KAMIKAZE’ (printed in The Birth of Chiran, edited by Yoshiaki Fukuma, Makoto Yamazaki, 2015), and Osamu Tezuka – ‘the God of Manga’ fostered by unfavorable wind (printed in Intellectual History of Japanese People Vol.4 (2015, Iwanami Shoten).

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

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