Stanford Japan Center
Japanese Popular Culture
Professor William Bradley
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Kyoto University Graduate School of Management
Reflection of Manga Museum
Since I am interested in music, especially live performances, following explanations at the main exhibition caught my attention:
Manga is not just limited to the publishing industry, but spans multiple industries such as television, film, music, games, toys, and so on. This "media mix" has grown in scope and speed since the 1980s, and currently the market scale of the all-encompassing manga industry is estimated at being worth around 3trillion yen. There's also a market for "fan art", artworks created by fans centered around their favorite characters, as can be seen at "Comic Market ", a convention for fan-made works which was established in 1975. In the late 1980s attendees reached over 100, 000 people, and currently numbers are estimated at over 500, 000.
As I pointed out in my final paper, spreading pop cultures by "media mix" and/or real events have a huge economic and social impact on Japanese society, and most of the popular concerts and music festivals have become social phenomena. These phenomena can be illustrated more clearly by explaining tickets markets. Getting concert tickets are highly competitive in Japan. For instance, one of the most successful boyband, ARASHI's seats are sold on online trading and auction sites by around 300, 000～500,000 JPY on average, and surprisingly, they are sold out just in few minutes.
Popularity of contents have not only produced huge amount of money, but also formed brand-new cultures and communities. For example, some amateur artists draw pictures of YOSHIKI, a global rock icon, and upload them on their own SNSs. Although they are not necessarily fans of YOSHIKI, nor prefer heavy metal bands; YOSHIKI often introduces these drawings on his account as a part of his "fan art contest." In this way, MANGA pictures; artists, both professional and amateur; and fans have interacted each other, and created new, "integrated" pop culture economy and communities. (338 words)
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