Manga (Japanese: 漫画 [maŋga]) are comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. Most manga conform to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century, and the form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. The term manga is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartooning. Outside of Japan, the word is typically used to refer to comics originally published in the country.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action, adventure, business and commerce, comedy, detective, drama, historical, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, erotica (hentai), sports and games, and suspense, among others. Many manga are translated into other languages. Since the 1950s, manga has become an increasingly major part of the Japanese publishing industry. By 1995, the manga market in Japan was valued at ¥586.4 billion ($6–7 billion), with annual sales of 1.9 billion manga books and manga magazines in Japan (equivalent to 15 issues per person). Manga have also gained a significant worldwide audience. In 2008, in the U.S. and Canada, the manga market was valued at $175 million. According to Jean-Marie Bouissou, Manga represented 38% of the French comics market in 2005.[unreliable source?] This is equivalent to approximately ten times that of the United States and was valued at about €460 million ($640 million). In Europe and the Middle East, the market was valued at $250 million in 2012.
Manga stories are typically printed in black-and-white—due to time constraints, artistic reasons (as colouring could lessen the impact of the artwork) and to keep printing costs low—although some full-colour manga exist (e.g., Colorful). In Japan, manga are usually serialized in large manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode to be continued in the next issue. Collected chapters are usually republished in tankōbon volumes, frequently but not exclusively paperback books. A manga artist (mangaka in Japanese) typically works with a few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing company. If a manga series is popular enough, it may be animated after or during its run. Sometimes, manga are based on previous live-action or animated films.
Manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of the world, particularly in Algeria ("DZ-manga"), China, Hong Kong, Taiwan ("manhua"), and South Korea ("manhwa").
Linguistically, manhwa, manga (漫画) and manhua (漫画) all mean 'comics' in Korean, Japanese and Chinese respectively. The Korean manhwa and the Japanese manga are cognates of the Chinese phrase manhua (transl. "impromptu sketches"). The current usage of the terms manhwa and manhua in English is largely explained by the international success of the Japanese manga. Although in a traditional sense, in these languages the terms manga/manhua/manhwa had a similar meaning of comical drawing in a broad way, in English the terms manhwa and manhua generally designate the manga-inspired comic strips.
The term manhwa came into popular use in Korea during the 1920s, when it was applied to cartoons. Korea was under Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945 and during this time elements of Japanese language and culture were incorporated into Korean society. By the mid 1920s, most political newspapers were shut down, and political and social cartoons were abandoned in favor of children’s and humorous illustrations.
Political cartoons slowly reemerged following the establishment of the Republic of Korea (commonly known as South Korea) in 1948. During the early years of Japanese occupation, newspaper comics featured a great deal of social criticism. Popular artist Kim Yong-hwan started Korea’s first comic magazine, Manhwa Haengjin, in 1948, but it was quickly shut down because the authorities disapproved of the cover.
The popularity of comics rose during the 1950s and 1960s, and the diversity of styles and subject matter led to the creation of new genres such as sunjeong (or soonjung), romantic stories aimed at young women (equivalent to the Japanese genre Shoujo). Manhwabang, comics cafés and stores that allowed readers to pay a set rate to sit and read comics, were also introduced to the public. In response to the increasing publication of comics, as well as social and political changes within South Korea, the government began to enforce censorship laws and, by the mid-1960s, created a comics distribution monopoly that further censored manhwa.
Manga influenced manhwa from the medium’s beginnings during the Japanese occupation of Korea and continued to exert a powerful influence as the manga industry became a major force within Japanese culture and began to export comics abroad. The author or artist of a manhwa is called a manhwaga (만화가; 漫畵家). Manhwaga were not culturally isolated, and the influx of manga into the Korean comics market had a strong effect on the art and content of many artists’ manhwa.
Webtoons (Hangul: 웹툰) are a type of digital comic that originated in South Korea. While webtoons were mostly unknown outside of the country during their inception, there has been a surge in popularity internationally thanks in great part to most manhwa being read on smartphones.
As digital manhwa have emerged as a popular medium, printPublicationManhwaSouthKorea() has decreased. The amount of material published in webtoon form has now reached an equal amount as that published offline.
Webtoons also have grown in popularity in China as another form to consume and produce manhua in the country thanks in part to the popularity of South Korean webtoons. Microblogging platforms Sina Weibo and Tencent have also offered webtoons on their digital manhua sites alongside web manhua. Also Beijing-based platform Kuaikan Manhua specialises in artwork targeting young readers. Several of these manhuas have later been translated into various languages. While webtoon portals in mainland China are mainly run by the big internet companies, webtoon portals in Taiwan are offered and operated by big webtoon publishers outside the country like Comico, and Naver (under the Line brand).
NEET, an acronym for "Not in Education, Employment, or Training", refers to a person who is unemployed and not receiving an education or vocational training. The classification originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s, and its use has spread, in varying degrees, to other countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Canada and the United States. The NEET category includes the unemployed (individuals without a job and seeking one), as well as individuals outside the labour force (without a job and not seeking one).
In the United Kingdom, the classification comprises people aged between 16 and 24 (some 16 and 17 year-olds are still of compulsory school age); the subgroup of NEETs aged 16–18 is frequently of particular focus. In Japan, the classification comprises people aged between 15 and 34 who are not employed, not engaged in housework, not enrolled in school or work-related training, and not seeking work.
A 2008 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the unemployment and NEET rates for people aged 16–24 in the majority of OECD countries fell in the past decade, attributed to increased participation in education.
NEET is to be distinguished from the newly coined NLFET rate used in the 2013 report on Global Employment Trends for Youth by the International Labour Organization. NLFET stands for "neither in the labour force nor in education or training". It is similar to NEET but it excludes the unemployed youth (who are part of the labour force).
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