For many people who live outside of Japan one of the most recognisable aspects of Japanese culture is manga and anime. From humble roots as an art form within Japan anime has taken the world by storm and is now more readily available than ever. You might be forgiven for thinking that within Japan manga and anime only live on paper or on the TV, but if you spend some time in Japan you will see that it is used for much more than just entertainment- manga comes to life in Japan!
One use of manga in Japan which you might be surprised by is to advertise serious topics. A recent advertising campaign was launched in Tokyo was not to gain attention for the newest manga launch or anime TV show, but to raise awareness of internet security! Posted around the popular youth culture area of Harajuku these messages paired up a common shojo theme of ‘kabe-don’ with tips on how to stay secure online.
Another way manga is alive in Japan is through cosplay. In the UK cosplay is usually only worn for conventions or fancy dress parties, but in Japan some people wear cosplay more often, such as those that visit Jingu bridge in Harajuku.
It may even seem like anime or game characters can have jobs in Japan, with Pikachu being featured on trains and buses, and even helping people to get on board.
— ローソン (@akiko_lawson) 2014年12月27日
In Japan you can even visit sites or museums for popular manga, anime or games. On the outskirts of Tokyo lies the Studio Ghibli museum, where you can hand your ticket to Totoro and spend and afternoon wandering through the maze-like structure of the museum which is like living in a Ghibli film. If you are a game fan you can even visit a real like Poke-centre and pick up some plushies to take home- you can collect them all!
When visiting Japan why not become part of the anime scene, visit Akihabara or a Poke-centre and take a piece of Japanese animation home with you!