Talk:Manga/Archive 2

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Copy of discussion at User_talk:Timothy_Perper/SandboxHistManga for this version of the article

Comments and Suggestions

This page is for writing the history manga article starting from the Wikipedia article most of which I wrote and referenced. It needs some major work, including the addition of an entirely new section on manga before WW2 (Meiji and Tokugawa periods, including kibyōshi). The text is my own, stripped-down, de-Wikified, and rewritten version of the original article. Timothy Perper 10:25, 27 September 2008 (CDT)

From John Stephenson, Talk:Manga:

if you are the sole author of all the material you import from Wikipedia, then the fact that it originally appeared over there is irrelevant - it can appear on Citizendium with no credit to Wikipedia and under the CZ creative commons licence rather than the Wikipedia one. The only thing you have to do, apart from perhaps writing more to cover gaps left by removing Wikipedians' contributions, is put the {{WPauthor}} tag at the top of the Talk page, below {{subpages}}, including a declaration that the material is yours. Something like: {{WPauthor|WP credit does not apply - material on WP written by me|[[User:Timothy Perper|Timothy Perper]] 04:03, 28 September 2008 (CDT)}}In cases of articles written on WP by other people, you can import them as well, but there must always be a credit to Wikipedia (by checking the 'Content is from Wikipedia?' box) and you have to commit to substantively improving the article, as otherwise it would be a candidate for deletion. John Stephenson 23:29, 27 September 2008 (CDT)

Debates about the origins of manga, history

I think this section is confusing and focuses too much on things that are only peripherally relevant. It's not clear what is meant by "two broad processes," and beginning with a highly abstract discussion of Murakami and Tatsumi seems odd, since neither of them are talking about manga specifically, or if they are, they are overlooking a great deal that is obvious to most historians of manga. For example, it was only after manga began to include serious themes that they become popular with adolescents and eventually adults, which would seem to directly contradict Murakami's assertion that there was a shift to "cute and harmless."

There is no discussion of what we mean by manga. Manga can refer to caricatures and satirical images, as well "story manga," and discussion about the origins of manga needs to begin with a distinction drawn between various forms that fall under the rubric of "manga." The Chōjūgiga scrolls Schodt talks about are not in fact narrative in nature. They are a series of amusing, satirical, and very "cartoony" scenes, but there is no sequential element. When we look at manga as "sequential art," we find that some Heian or Muromachi period scrolls can be loosely defined as sequential art, but Kern's argument that kibyōshi and gōkan were predecessors to modern story manga is convincing because 1) they were specifically created as entertainment, 2) virtually all text is incorporated into the image and is indeed one visual element in the image, and 3) they were mass-produced and mass-consumed commercial products.

I feel the section as it stands is a hodge-podge of overly academic overviews of obscure arguments and miscellaneous statements from the English-language literature. In my frank opinion, the bulk of the English-language literature (with notable exceptions) has been written by dilettantes who are unfamiliar with the huge body of Japanese-language work on the subject. The fact that artist Rakuten Kitazawa's name is not mentioned is illustrative, as is the absence of any reference to Isao Shimizu, the pre-eminent (if uninspiring) historian of manga.

Before I knew Tim was creating sandboxes, I had actually created one of my own where I had begun writing an article from scratch. As you can see, it hasn't gotten far. But since I really don't how where to begin in editing Tim's sandbox on manga history, I think I will continue to plug away on my own. Since manga history is, along with shōjo manga, one of my areas of expertise, and since I have access to the Japanese-language literature on the subject, I would like to focus on the history of manga section (article?) for the time being, and I hope you will forgive me if I more or less "go it alone" for the moment. Matthew Allen Thorn 23:39, 29 September 2008 (CDT)

Yes, Isao Shimizu is mentioned -- he's in reference 152 and 153. By all means work on the material! Actually, Murakami is very specifically discussing manga and anime, and I too think he's wrong -- but it is what he says (at least as well as that can be summarized in two sentences). But I'm not trying to give the "right" answers, but summarize a variety of opinions about the history of manga. And, to be fair, I don't think Adam Kern, Richard Torrence, or Kinko Ito are dilettantes.
The article doesn't cover pre-World War 2 material. We'll get to Rakuten Kitazawa but not in the After-WW2 section. Then we can decide if we want to look at history starting from the present and going backward, or starting from the past and coming forward.
Each has advantages and has disadvantages. The advantage of the now ----> past approach is that it starts with material familiar to the reader and looks into its origins. The disadvantage is that the arrow of history is reversed. The advantage of the past ----> now approach is that it keeps the chronological sequence in the proper order (and is the approach you'd use in a course where the students have to sit through the entire semester). The disadvantage is that we're not dealing with a captive audience of students, but lay readers. To start with the scrolls or with Rakuten Kitazawa means starting with material that 99.9% of our readers never heard of, don't care about, and think (if they think about it at all, which I doubt) is minor trivia in the history of Japan.
I opted for the first, though the second is more accurate chronologically, if not psychologically. (By "psychologically," I mean the reactions of someone here in the US who has read Death Note, Bleach, and Full Metal Alchemist and has never heard the name "Meiji" in his life -- "Doesn't that have something to do with Rurouni Kenshin?" he asks.) In Japan, where your students all know what Meiji refers to, yes, start there or even earlier; here, and writing for an Anglophone audience, I think it's better to start with something they know and work back. A difference of approach; neither of us is right or wrong.
Anyway, let's see what comes of this. Timothy Perper 06:51, 30 September 2008 (CDT)
Another thought -- it rather sounds as if you read just the first section and not the rest of it. If so, I can see why you say "Hey, that's not a history!" -- and you'd be right. It isn't -- it's designed to set up the two general views of manga held by a number of writers. One -- you're in this group -- sees an essential continuity between post-WW2 manga and Japanese art before WW2, but other, equally persuasive writers have held that no matter what may have happened before the war, modern manga is influenced primarily by events following Japan's defeat and occupation by the US, and by events occurring even later during the present-day period of intense globalization of just about everything. I don't think Murakami would deny that Hokusai existed; I suspect he'd merely say that modern imagery of manga does not arise from any sources as old as Hokusai or even the ponchi-e artists. As I implied, this debate seems to me to be part of the nihonjinron argument and gets into politics I really don't understand. And I'd like to avoid it as much as possible, although I can imagine that it exercises Japanese intellectuals considerably. The overall article is fairly clear, I hope, that I fall into the continuity camp -- I see a very long tradition of Japanese art within the seemingly ultra-modern work of Sadamoto, Chiho Saito, and Erica Sakurazawa. BTW, I call these the Continuity versus the Deep Sundering Hypotheses. An oversimplification, yes, but it has more than a grain of truth to it. Maybe that will help clarify what I'm driving at. Timothy Perper 09:42, 30 September 2008 (CDT)


I've been following this as you've been reworking it, Tim, and it's gotten better and better. As I don't know the history very well, my ability to comment is limited. My major concern at the moment is with organization, and that's hard to judge as the article is still incomplete. Given that most of your discussion of modern manga is organized by genre, it's not clear to me what's going to go into section 4, Genres of Manga.

A minor comment, it seems to me that your opening sentence of the Tradition and Innovation section is too limited (to Disney). Granted, the question is a rhetorical one, but seeing "Walt Disney" in there brings me up short. Perhaps "American comics" would be better.

My big question concerns sticking the major pre-WWII discussion at the end. I know you and Matt had some discussion of this and that you want to capture the reader's interest with the modern material first. But I the planned position is made especially awkward by the Sex and Women's Roles discussion. The Modern Manga section is organized more-or-less historically. When we get through that, however, we then have this women's roles discussion, which is more thematic than historical. And when we're through with that, it's back to the history, the old stuff. That organization might have worked when there was less material. But things have changed.

It might work better to put the pre-WWII material before the modern material and, if you wish, stick a note up front somewhere indicating that readers can skip over that to the modern stuff if they wish. It's not as though anyone coming to this article is going to feel obligated to read everything and in the written order.--William L. Benzon 16:56, 6 October 2008 (CDT)

Thanks, Bill. Very helpful. The "Manga Before World War II" section was put at the end (a) to get it out of the loop while I completed the tradition and continuity section; (b) to put obscure (to most US readers) material out of the line of main development of a semi-historical, semi-thematic treatment of the subject (e.g., the YAOI section); and (c) because Matt said he'd contribute to that section at some point, not likely to be soon. So it's a place-holder more than anything else at the moment. I'm not even sure I'll keep the title of the section.
One thing I'm quite sure of -- none of the pre-WW2 material of this new, as yet unwritten section, is necessary for understanding the rest of the article. As I read the scholarship in this area, many of the proponents of the "manga comes from X" where X is dated to 1921, to 1862, to 1790, or to 1200 are specialists in Japan who assume that the basic history of Japan (and of post-war manga) are transparently familiar to their readers. That's an assumption I can't make. Readers, if there are any, will either know nothing about manga at all or be fans -- not specialists in Rakuten Kitazawa or Frank Nankivell (as in "Who are they?"
I'm going to change the Disney line.
More coming!
Timothy Perper 08:27, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
If the pre-WWII stuff isn't going to be written anytime soon, then I'd just drop the section. You've stated the general issue and given a bit of the pre-WWII material, so people know that there is a distinctly Japanese cultural tradition behind modern manga. That, it seems to me, is enough to make the article a coherent one, if not entirely satisfactory. --William L. Benzon 08:41, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
Back in the old days, when Peregrine Fisher and I were rewriting the whole accursed manga article on Wiki, I used to say that we were using the "Alexander Technique." That means cutting the Gordian Knot into little pieces and dumping them. So the Alexander Technique is called for here. I will remove the section. I've just made some minor edits, fixing up various glitches and small errors that crept in. Now I'm going to do the "genres" subsection, and you'll see what it's about. I don't like the necessity for that section, but I don't see any way around it -- and it has to be included way up near the top. Let me know what you think when I've gotten it in. Timothy Perper 09:19, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
The genre section is more or less what I'd figured it would be. Looking good.--William L. Benzon 10:44, 7 October 2008 (CDT)

Great. Thanks. I'm now replacing badly formatted ISBNs and other creepy-crawly stuff that crept and crawled in -- ah, sorry, I meant other problem areas left over from the Wiki days. Now, if I can only figure out if CZ will accept manga covers as being not copyrighted, then I could start to plan on adding some pix. Timothy Perper 11:50, 7 October 2008 (CDT)

Stephenson's material moved

I've copied this introduction to history of manga where you can modify/delete as you like. As for other comments, I'll try to have a look at the rest of this over a few days.
(This is from Stephenson, but some glitch prevents his name from being copied.)

Good stuff

Good stuff. It will need extra wiki-linking to articles like katakana (even though many don't exist yet); for now, it should certainly be put up as a draft manga article. John Stephenson 00:40, 10 October 2008 (CDT)

Oh, just in case: copy and paste it to manga immediately below {{subpages}} and delete whatever else is there except the footnotes section with its template and the see also section, i.e. ==Footnotes== {{reflist|2}} ==See also== *[[Japanese popular culture]] *[[Anime]] *[[Cartoon]] *[[Comic]] John Stephenson 00:49, 10 October 2008 (CDT)