Hiroshi Aramata to Take Over Kyoto International Manga Museum
Here's a news for those of you who fancy manga culture. The City of Kyoto has announced to appoint Hiroshi Aramata, the author of Teito Monogatari (A Tale of Imperial Capital), to take over the post of the curator of the city's International Manga Museum. The anatomist Takeshi Yoro is vacating the post at the museum's tenth anniversary at his own discretion this month.
Mr. Aramata is an anatomist/writer/natural historian all in one and a great fan of manga. He is also well-known for his studies of ghosts. He frequents TV programs.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum was set up in 2006 at the Kyoto Seika University where Japan's only Faculty of Manga is opened. The museum stores some 300 thousand items on manga.
Hiroshi Aramata swears in at this month's end.
Manga had never been a serious medium of communication in Japan, predominantly limited to kiddy entertainment until the advent of TV and its peripheral functions. Today, the world acknowledges Japan the home of manga/animation culture with full-sized mangas serving a vehicle of enlightenment if not education e.g. on subject matters such as the national economy and the controversial constitution of Japan.
Some say manga functions as an inviting gate to Japanese culture. As a mere gate to Japanese culture, yes, but it's doubtful if serious friends of Japan turn to manga and its peripherals for meaningful information on what Japan offers as its cultural assets.
In fact, others correctly argue that manga innocently degrades Japanese culture by missing certain inner qualities forming the core of Japanese culture e.g. wabi, sabi, and similar innermost concepts.
In that sense, a faculty of manga in a university is quite an eye-catcher, much less a manga museum. Let us admit then that manga has come to acquire qualities worth studying at a college level. What say you?(Nathan Shiga)