WALK into any convenience store or bookstore in Japan and you’re bound to find a few people casting their eyes over manga (Japanese comics). Manga is based on a wide range of subjects including action, romance, sports, history, fantasy, science fiction and business, to name a few, and since the 1950s, it’s been a major contributor to Japan’s publishing industry and represents, the equivalent of $3.6 billion USD (approximately) in the market.
With over 300,000 manga, Kyoto’s International Manga Museum (KIMM) is a must see for any one perplexed and intrigued or interested in one of Japan’s biggest forms of entertainment. Housed in an old elementary school, this museum provides a great insight into the world of manga and its relevance in modern-day Japan.
The KIMM shows the colourful history of manga through a variety of galleries as well as beginner’s workshops. There are even opportunities to have your portrait drawn by a manga artist. For those stopping by Kyoto during their travels to Japan, the KIMM is not to be missed. It provides, like Kyoto itself, a valuable history lesson in Japan’s culture. The museum hosts various exhibitions during the year. Check the website (available in English too) for more details.