- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- vol.87, pp.197-216, 2015-07-31 (Released:2017-10-06)
This study aims to consider the historical process of establishing of Manga by focusing on Comic Book Sections in Japanese bookstores from the early 1970s to 1980s. Prior studies on Manga tend to focus on trades outside of regular distribution channels to emphasize peculiar characteristics of the emerging media. Consequently, the social process during the 1970s and 1980s to pervade Manga almost all of the retail bookstores through wholesalers has not been clarified. The article shows how Manga to be recognized as one of the established genre in bookstores by concentrating on the particular standard of shinshoban (pocket paperback edition) comics which became one of the best sellers in retail bookstores after the 1970s. The early spread of permanent section of shinshoban comics during the 1970s can be understood as a conflict between Manga and other genre of books, mostly literal arts, and through industrial change surrounding book business as a background. In the late 1970s, sale structure of the small and medium-sized retail bookstores became more dependent on the shinshoban comics. The situation forced booksellers to redefine the identity of their bookstore represented in the composition of sections. Accordingly, most booksellers decided to redefine the identity of their bookstores as a space for consumption from a space of cultural excellence. Booksellers defined Manga merely as a commodity and accepted shinshoban comics to make up a permanent section in their bookstores to compromise their ideals. However, constructing Manga sections in bookstores was nothing less than legitimizing Manga as one of the established genres of printed books. Therefore, the establishment of Manga in the 1970s and 1980s can be seen as a process of reconsidering the publication culture for the Japanese publication industry in a transitional period.