Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hello Japan! March mini-challenge: Manga

Hello Japan!
Hello Japan! is a monthly mini-challenge focusing on Japanese literature and culture. Each month there is a new task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan. Anyone is welcome to join in any time. You can post about the task on your blog. Or if you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment on the Hello Japan! post for the month. Everyone who completes the task will then be included in the drawing for that month's prize. For more information, just click on the Hello Japan! button above, or if you have any questions please feel free to email me at inspringthedawn AT gmail DOT com.

March's Topic

Japan has a long history of storytelling with images. Some argue that manga (漫画) goes back to, or at least is inspired by, old scroll paintings, especially those of a satirical or whimsical nature. Like the set of Choju Giga (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals) by Toba Sojo in the 11th century. But whatever the original source, manga in its current state really gained popularity in the post-WWII period. Nowadays, people of all ages read manga, and billions of yen are spent on manga each year in Japan.

History of Manga (
A History of Manga by Matt Thorn
Manga at Wikipedia

March's Task

March is manga month! This month's task is simply to celebrate manga.
Read a manga. Watch an anime movie based on a manga. List your favourite manga, mangaka (manga artists) or manga characters. Draw your own manga. Cosplay. Or anything else you can think of that relates to manga in some way.

Manga Bookshelf
The Manga Critic
Best New Manga of 2010 (

Manga store
Photo by Doc Sleeve

March's Prize

This month's prize is one volume of the manga of your choice. Please note that it must be available to purchase online (no out of print or hard to find volumes, sorry), unless of course you'd like the original Japanese edition in which case I can try to get whatever you like here locally.

To be eligible for the prize, you must complete this month's mini-challenge by writing a blog post and adding a link to your post, or leaving a comment with your answers on this post. Or if you prefer, you can also email me at inspringthedawn AT gmail DOT com with your submission. You are welcome to post or comment more than once and add the relevant links below. I love it when you are enthusiastic about a topic! However, each participant will receive only one entry per month. It doesn't matter if you've won previously, you're eligible each month that you participate. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Once you have completed the task, don't forget to come back here to add your link to the Mr. Linky below. Please submit the link to the actual post, not just to your top page, and please only submit links to posts relating to the Hello Japan! task for this month. Any other links will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding.

The small print: Links in this post to Amazon contain my Associates ID. Purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission. For more information please visit my About Page.


  1. I actually cosplayed in January ;) As a Teddiursa Pokemon. It wasn't my first cosplay ever, but is has been a long time since I went cosplaying.

  2. So looking forward to this challenge - i wonder what to pick!!!

  3. Uniflame - Fun! Did you take any pictures?

    Young1 - I look forward to seeing which manga you choose.

  4. Since "manga characters" topic is mentioned, I think I can join this month topic.;)

  5. I had so much fun reading Naruto and cannot wait until the next one! Just a shame i couldn't get into Bleach.

    Cool challenge!

  6. I found it hard to find a nice manga, and I'm not convinced it's for me. But for once, it was fun to do.

  7. @Tanabata: There are some pictures on my facebook :) I am Uniflame there as well.

  8. I've published my challenge-post;) As I had no opportunity to read something new I've written a sort of manga first time meme. And you know? It was fun! Like a journey through the time, back to my teenage years. Thanks!

  9. Thank you for uploading my entry. I found that there are some mistakes, like
    Y is missing from Yamagishi. I corrected them as follows. I will appreciate if you can replace it.

    I grew up on Shojo Manga artists : Moto Hagio, Yumiko Oh-shima, Ryohoko Yamagishi, Keiko Takemiya who rejected the "limitations of traditional definitions of shojo manga" (Matt Thorn) (girls' manga). I wrote about Moto Hagio before. So here I would like to write about "The Star of Cottonland", the animation based on Yumiko Oshima's manga. (Manga is not available in English)

    The protagonist is a little kitten who believes that she will grow up be a human someday. She eventually finds out that "kitten cannot be a human, kitten will be a cat" It is a story about finding your place in life. It is not a masterpiece like some of Hayao Miyazaki's works, but it is very poetic and philosophical: a little gem. I found a good review on line if you are interested:

  10. dhitzunako - Glad to have you join in again.

    Young1 - Glad you enjoyed it and found a manga you like.

    Judith - Yes, it can be hard to find just the right manga for your taste. I think it's harder coming at manga as an adult too, as we don't have the background or fond memories to guide us.

    Uniflame - I never seem to be able to find anyone on Facebook, can you send me a link to your profile?

    litera - You're welcome. I enjoyed reading your post, and can imagine it was fun to revisit some of your old favourites. :)

    sumit - "The Star of Cottonland" sounds very cute! It's too bad it's not available in English.

  11. Sumit(Owl59) here.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Yes. "The Star of Cottonland" is cute and poetic. Saw animation version on line with English subtitles.


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