■ How's learning manga changed your consideration?
Y: I'm from South Korea and had considered about manga culture difference between Japan and South Korea at first. Studying made me understand how it was in other countries. Then, I started thinking why Japan's manga culture had been as it was.
■ Did you find the answer?
Y: I found there were several reasons. Numberless artists with gifts have appeared in Nippon and theirs haven't been regulated as other countries. I believe it is wonderful there were a permissive market to grow them up in Japan.
■ I agree. The rules are not as strict as other nations. In countries of Muslims like Pakistan, Pokemon is forbidden because they're denying evolutionary theory.
Y: Japanese people must be grateful to the loose regulation after the war. In Europe and Asian countries including South Korea, by the severer restriction or military government, it was often difficult for the artists and readers to have to do with manga.
■ Japan could grow the culture up by the peace?
Y: Now, I don't know whether other nations could improve the manga culture as Japan or not if they kept peace inside. I have to consider more. I can only say most countries were unable to keep the situation to grow up manga culture at least.
■ By the way, how many do you read manga a year?
Y: About several hundreds. So are all the researchers. There are the two types of manga; one of taste and another for work. For an exhibition of a manga artist, we read all the works or cannot plan. Then, when we are tired, read comics of taste.
■ Sounds kind of hard you must read the ones out of your interests...
Y: No, it is a chance to meet a new appeal. If the manga artist didn't have any appeal, nobody holds the exhibition.
For instance, there are unfamiliar comics for the picture styles. But I try and find that's including humor. I can get it through my job. Isn't it so when you meet an unknown person? Like a hard-faced man might be chatty sometimes.
■ I see. Finally, would you talk about the one you are trying in business?
Y: In September Denmark, we're going to hold a manga exhibition. I'm planning for the event now. Not featuring an artist, we will do one theme. It means what we'll hold must be more than their stereotyped prejudice against the theme. A challenge to me is it. The subject's "Girls' comics."
■ Too wide, isn't it? LOL
Y: Wide! LOL Some may have a prejudice that all the characters with big bright eyes are often attracted to love affairs in girls' comics. Not just so. We desire to show them other aspects of girls' manga at the exhibition.
■ I truly hope it will be successful. Thanks very much.
■ Kyoto International Manga Museum
Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei