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Friday, August 31, 2012

Manga Museum Opens In Kitakyushu

A manga (comic book) museum has opened in Kitakyushu-shi (Kitakushu City), Fukuoka-ken (Fukuoka Prefecture), Japan with a library boasting some 50,000 titles, with a strong focus on artists from the city.

Situated on the fifth and sixth floors of Aru Aru City near JR (Japan Rail) Kokura Station, the
Kitakyushu Manga Museum opened its doors to the public on August 3, 2012.

The city is looking to attract tourists (manga enthusiasts, obviously) - not just from Japan, but from around the world. Good luck with that.

Kitakyushu boasts some 50 reasonably well-known manga creators including Matsumoto Leiji (surname first) who drew 'Galaxy Express 999', and Hojo Tsukasa (surname first), writer of 'City Hunter'.

Is it any wonder that Matsumoto is the museum's creator? You'll see museum staff dressed as Maetel (Galaxy Express 999) waiting to greet you.

If you have any concept of what I just wrote, then this is geek heaven for you.

Me? I'm a geek, too, but manga is not my bag. I have over American/Canadian 30,000 comic books (close to museum-size, apparently) - but very little is for manga, as aside from a few books, I do not care for the art style, though sometimes a story-line will wow me to forget my dislike of the cutie-pie large-eyes that tend to dominate Japanese manga, like Mai the Psychic Girl or Astro Boy.

Akira and Lone Wolf & Cub avoid the large-eyed look altogether and are the most compelling stories I have ever read... and I even bought the original Japanese books that I couldn't read because I respected the stories so much.  

The museum's deputy curator Okada Mitsuji says: "We have selected old classics and out-of-print books in addition to currently popular works."

In the Japan Times article HERE, you can see people handling the manga. I thought this was a museum?!

Is it a museum or a library? This is only the museum's first months? What the heck will these books look like after a year? Two years? Replacing worn out-of-print manga is a bitch and an unnecessary expense.

Scan the books and sell and e-version of them - check with the publisher's and creators of course... and share the profits. 

Entrance costs are ¥400 ($5 Cdn/US) for adults, ¥200 for junior high and high school students and ¥100 for elementary school students. Uh... you can do the math for the other yen conversions, right geek?

Andrew Joseph

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