` A Story in Four Frames - Japanese Yonkoma Manga


A Story in Four Frames - Japanese Yonkoma Manga

Yonkoma manga is one of a range of manga formats produced in Japan. As the direct translation of the name suggests, it comprises of just 4 frames in which a story starts, develops and ends. Although it may be relatively unknown overseas, this manga style has a long-standing history. Primarily associated with daily printed newspapers for many years, the characters featured in specific yonkoma often could become household names while the storylines tend to develop while reflecting social and political trends. In recent years, there has been a rise in more variation of content but the simplicity and conciseness in telling a story, reminiscent of Japanese haiku, remains the same.

Following the yonkoma manga workshop we held in May 2020, the Japan Foundation has invited SAIKA Tadahiro of Kyoto Seika University to explain the characteristics of yonkoma manga and trace its history to date. SAIKA will also examine the way this classic format, which is embedded in Japanese culture, has evolved over time and in the context of changes in Japanese society, while introducing some of the new wave seen in the world of contemporary yonkoma manga.

About the speaker

SAIKA Tadahiro was born in Wakayama, Japan in 1980. He completed his PhD at the Graduate School of Cultural Studies, Kobe University. SAIKA is currently a research fellow at the International Manga Research Center, Kyoto Seika University. His research interests include the social context in which manga is produced and the way in which the gaze towards manga artists has shifted with time. In addition to carrying out his research, he translates and writes articles on manga and also teaches at various universities in Japan.

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

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