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Japan high school manga competition opens doors to world for 1st time

Manga Kingdom Tosa Promotional Committee's Ryo Yoshimura, left, and another official announce the themes for the preliminary round of the 31st National High School Manga Championships(Manga Koshien) in the city of Kochi on April 8, 2022. (Mainichi/Yosuke Oyake)

KOCHI -- Japan's annual high school manga competition has set its scope far this year, calling for submissions from around the world for the first time, on the themes of "space debris" and "infinity."

    Organizers announced the outline of the preliminary round of the 31st National High School Manga Championships (Manga Koshien) in the western Japan city of Kochi on April 8. Manga Koshien has been held every summer in a bid to disseminate Kochi Prefecture's manga culture in and out of Japan. The competition previously accepted submissions from South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan as well, but it has expanded the participating areas to all countries and regions in the world this year.

    Ryo Yoshimura, the project promotion subcommittee chief at the Manga Kingdom Tosa Promotional Committee, which organizes the contest jointly with the Kochi Prefectural Government, said in a news conference, "We decided on the themes from a global perspective as we've expanded the participating areas to cover the whole world." He called for budding artists to utilize their potential with their sights on the No. 1 spot.

    To participate in Manga Koshien, school teams consisting of three to five members each draw a manga work on a sheet of B4-size paper on either one of the themes and submit the work through the website at https://mangaoukoku-tosa.jp/manga-koshien31/ The deadline for preliminary submissions is May 31.

    Thirty-three school teams that pass the preliminary screening will win berths in the main round to be held in Kochi on July 30 and 31.

    The main round will be livestreamed on the video-sharing platform Niconico. In addition, an online event titled "Manga Koshien Online," which allows people to participate remotely and draw manga on the same themes in real time, will be held. The works can be posted online, and they will also be judged separately from the main round.

    Details on the event in English are available in the PDF file online at https://mangaoukoku-tosa.jp/manga-koshien/31th/images/pdf/ver1_31th_en.pdf

    (Japanese original by Yosuke Oyake, Kochi Bureau)

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