East Bend: Know Japan - How to Read Japanese Culture Through Manga

Thursday, February 06, 2020
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
East Bend Library
Meeting Room
Explore Japanese culture through its greatest pop culture export- manga.

Dr. Jon Holt discusses how much we can understand about Japanese culture with the country's greatest pop culture export, its comic books (manga). Like the United States, Japan has a long history of comic-book making, one that is in fact far more successful than what's seen in American markets. Although manga stories and series can be immensely satisfying entertainment, they also create pathways to know and learn about Japanese culture. When do Japanese people bow? How deeply do they bow? What do Japanese people love to eat? Why do they love food so much? How do Japanese people communicate with each other, with strangers, with completely different strangers? How do they use body language? How do they use sometimes the most minimal communication cues to convey deep concerns? What about tattoos? Bathing habits? Sleeping habits?

Manga, as a visual-textual medium, can help explain--by demonstration!--many of these questions and much larger ones, and, manga does it all so beautifully. Join Professor Holt as he explains Japanese culture with the hit LGBTQ manga "My Brother's Husband" (Ototo no otto [Vol. 1]), Tezuka Osamu, Mizuki Shigeru, and more!

Dr. Jon Holt received his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from the University of Washington. His research interests include modern Japanese poetry and children's literature. He wrote his dissertation on the works of Miyazawa Kenji, arguably one of the most important figures in modern Japanese literature. At PSU, Dr. Holt teaches Japanese literature and film as well as upper-division Japanese language courses. His secondary research interests include manga and Japanese Buddhism.

Event Type
Adult Program
Age Group(s)
Dr. Jon Holt
Laurel Westendorf | | 541-312-1029