Saturday, September 6, 2008

2008 Manga Summit

The city of Kyoto is hosting the 9th annual Manga Summit this weekend. I'd learned of this summit only a few days ago, so I couldn't really schedule to attend it. I visited the English webpage, but there's virtually no info on entrance fees, events or who will attend. I sent an email asking for info, but never got a reply. The Japanese page is where all the details are, but I can't read everything. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll be able to go next year.

One of the people that will be featured at this Summit is Machiko Satonaka, creator of over 400 shojo manga titles, and executive director for the Japan Cartoonists Association. While shojo comics did exist before Machiko hit the scene, she is credited with being highly influential in defining shojo manga as we know it today (I can't find the reference for this anymore, though). The English links for her are woefully incomplete, and it would be a good thing if someone that knows her works could take on the task of documenting it for the rest of us. In any case, while Tezuka has been called the godfather of manga, I think it's a safe bet to say that Machiko is shojo manga's godmother. I just wish I could have had the chance to meet her this weekend.

One more thing about the summit - it's being held in the Kyoto conference center. One of the promotional points is that Kyoto is the home of Japan's first large-scale manga museum. If you're a manga fan, then this place should be at the top of your list of places to visit (along with the Ghibli museum and the Tezuka museum).

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