Manga, which tell stories with pictures and dialogue, are read by many people of all ages in Japan. Manga are translated into many languages, and there are many avid fans from around the world.
The history of manga
The book which is believed to be the origin of manga in Japan was created back in the 12th to 13th century. It is a picture scroll called Choju-giga (animal caricatures) which was painted in ink, and animals are illustrated as walking with two legs and playing with each other as if they were human. Its format is different from today's manga as there were no koma (frames) in Choju-giga, but some expressions are similar to today's manga such as the personification of animals.
The god of manga, Osamu Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka is a manga artist who was active from the 1950s and onwards. He is best known for creations such as Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) and Black Jack. He is said to be the most influential manga artist who has made an impact on today's manga. He came up with a style to bind the book on the right side, and a technique called komawari (frame allocation). Also, he has an enormous number of works, more than 600 titles, and is referred to as the god of manga.
How to buy manga in Japan
Various types of manga are sold at book stores in Japan. However, those you find at a manga section of book stores are written entirely in Japanese. English-translated manga are usually on display in the foreign books section. Translated manga are available at larger book stores.
Manga by amateur artists
In Japan, there are many people other than professional manga artists who draw manga for fun. Some create original stories using their favorite manga characters, and some create their own characters as well as stories. Many different kinds of manga are created every day. Many manga works are posted on community websites for people who draw illustrations or manga for fun. Also, some people print their manga works and make them into books to sell.
Growth of web manga
In Japan, there are many websites distributing manga online instead of in paper form because of the growth in smartphone usage. There are even websites where you can read manga for free. Also, there are now manga with top-to-bottom flow, instead of right-to-left flow, so that readers can read them easily on their smartphones.
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.