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Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Manga featured in opening ceremony for Tokyo Olympics

2021 Jul 24, 6:50, Tokyo
Snaefridur Sol Jorunnardottir and Anton Mckee, of Iceland, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo Via AP)

The athletes of the Tokyo Olympics stepped into the world of Japanese comics and graphic novels when manga was featured prominently in the opening ceremony on Friday.

The placards for the country names for the parade of athletes used manga speech bubbles, and the costumes for the placard bearers and assistants had manga touches in their design.

Manga roughly refers to comics and graphic novels from Japan, while anime — another popular Japanese art form — covers animation from the country. Manga is a Japanese word meaning whimsical pictures.

Manga is read from right to left and is almost always published in black and white. It has numerous genres and subgenres designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Manga traces its roots back to 12th-century Buddhist monks who created scrolls that ran continuously and depicted animals behaving like humans.

The artists who create manga are known as a mangaka, and the most famous practitioners include Osamu Tezuka (“Astro Boy”), Akira Toriyama (“Dragon Ball”) and Naoko Takeuchi (“Sailor Moon”). Tezuka, who died in 1989 at the age of 60, has been dubbed the “Father of manga” and compared to famed American animator Walt Disney.


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