- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- vol.88, pp.117-136, 2016-01-31 (Released:2017-10-06)
This paper aims to reinterpret the activities of the Manga Artists' Association, the Tokyo-Manga-Kai, in terms of a movement attempting to improve the social position of manga, through a socio-historical consideration of the group's significance and limitations. This study seeks to overcome the limitations of conventional studies of manga history by avoiding the a priori assumption that "manga" was always a self-evident category. Rather, it aims to understand how it became possible for manga to be established as a cultural field and how artistic productions came to be consumed as manga. Additionally, the study aims to problematize these as historical phenomena in their own right. To clarify these points, this study focuses on an association of manga artists, rather than readers or the works themselves. Between the Meiji and Taisho periods, the referential category of "manga" encompassed a wide variety of representational forms, with only vague boundaries between manga and other representational media. To understand manga in contemporary terms as the category that oscillated between multiple boundaries, we need to question how manga artists had defined their own position by prioritizing their self-definition. Therefore, this study focuses on Japan's first association of manga artists, the Tokyo-Manga-Kai, and undertakes an analysis of the group's activities. The results of my analysis revealed that, in the Taisho period, without the establishment of manga as an autonomous and bounded field, manga artists were situated in a multi-layered and ambivalent position between the categories of art and journalism, and carried out various movements to define their position. While these movements may appear to have led to the promotion of manga and manga artists, they did not ultimately lead to the elimination of characteristic ambivalence.