I am Nikkita Bechdel and a senior at Bald Eagle Area high School in Central Pennsylvania. For the final in my Advanced Placement English class, I must write a research paper on any topic relating to literature. I chose to prove the literacy value of manga. I am having difficulties finding sources on sections such as why Japan considers it literature. If you could please help me, it would mean a lot to me.
Wow, this is a tough one. A bit of a lofty goal, but a worthwhile one. When I was in Jr. College, I did a sociology study on anime fans, so I can relate on the difficulty in finding sources.
There hasn’t been a lot of analysis of manga in english, but there are a few books you can look at that may have the information you’re looking for.
- Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society by Sharon Kinsella. It provides, among other things “a detailed analysis of manga for adults.” (quote via Books on Japan)
- Manga! Manga! World of Japanese Comics and Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga by Fred Schodt. Manga! Manga! was first published in the 1980’s and can give a good historical perspective as well as major themes. Dreamland Japan is an update to Manga! Manga! and is comprised of a articles from the 1990’s. Fred Schodt is highly respected and recognized for his knowledge of manga. He’s an excellent reference.
- Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett. This book has information on the “development and diversity of manga since 1954″, so it may have some pertinent information.
These books should give you a good foundation for your paper. You should be able to find these books at a library or use interlibrary loan to get them. The amazon links have the ISBN numbers.
I invite the much more knowledgable mangasphere to weigh in other books or links that might help Nikkita out. If you know of something that might be a good resource, please post it in the comments.