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Japanese Culture Series 2017 - Scroll met Comics

Professor X. Jie Yang delves into the deep and rich content and history of manga and emaki

By Charles Qiang, Japanese Program Rep.


Scroll Met Comics was the last event of the Japanese Culture Series, held on March the 27th. Around 50 people attended the lecture by Professor X. Jie Yang from the School of Language, Linguistics, Literature, and Culture at the University of Calgary. His talk delved into the deep and rich content and history of manga and emaki. In contemporary culture, manga is very much a story told through pictures, dialogue, and perhaps narration. Whereas in contrast, emaki is a written story, followed by a pictorial representation of the story, perhaps meant to add to the story being told. There were obvious differences between the two genres, but it was easy to draw the conclusion that perhaps manga originated from emaki.

As Dr. Yang began to delve more and more into the historical significance and purpose of emaki and manga, it seemed clearer that what the lecture began to discuss was one of the foundations of Japanese culture. One of the most striking impressions I got when delving into the history of emaki and even contemporary manga, was that there is much to be known and there are still many more questions than there are answers. Perhaps, they would serve as answers to even more broader topics in Japanese culture.

Scroll Met Comics was met with a lot of enthusiasm (and questions), and the diversity of the audience was truly astounding. Students and those who were not enrolled in any courses, both came to learn more about Japan and a building block of its historical culture. A lot of those who did come had no previous experience learning Japanese culture or the Japanese language whatsoever, whereas some had lived for many years in Japan and rigorously studied Japanese. Regardless of their prior knowledge, it seemed that everyone learned something new that evening.

With the conclusion of Scroll Met Comics, we are brought to the end of the Japanese Culture Series of 2017. We truly thank all of those who have attended the events, and appreciate your participation. We hope that you will take interest and attend the prospective events that we will hold in the future.