Kindai University Library to House 22,000 Manga Titles
Like it or not, the manga is getting to be a near dominant part of Japanese culture for sure, as a local but major university library is now to house over 20,000 titles of manga to help invigorate books-shy students.
The university administration told the press March 29 of the opening of a new two-storey library in April with a total of 70,000 titles, of which approximately 30% or 21,000 titles are mangas. The university houses manga titles for the first time and introduces a new layout arrangement placing manga shelves alongside those of pocketbook editions on related subject matters.
Ingenious ideas are employed to stimulate readability. Technical titles are categorized not into such conventional classifications as humanities, arts, etc. but some inviting groupings as "Noteworthy Personalities". "How Life Functions", etc.
The university also provides alongside the library a 2400-seat self-study space open for 24 hours for the book-reading students to browse.
Kindai University is one of the largest universities in western Japan. With 14 faculties with 48 departments, the university runs 17 research facilities, 2 junior colleges, and 3 teaching hospitals.
Of the 17 research facilities, the Fisheries Laboratory stands out with an ambitious aquaculture program. Founded in 1948, the laboratory was the first in the world to successfully raise red sea bream and amberjack in a full-cycle aquaculture.
Back to the manga, Japan is unique in that serious subjects are often rendered into comics. The entire intricate machinery running the national economy was years ago published under the title "A Study of Japanese Economy" and sold rather well. The often controversial Japanese constitution was presented in a manga form a way back and also sold well.
There may emerge someday in Japan a manga daily newspaper free of worded editorials, comments, analyses, etc. Who knows? (Nathan Shiga)