Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Manga Diplomancy 漫畫外交

Young Japanese men walk past a manga poster at a cosplay venue in Tokyo, Japan, May 3, 2007.五月三日在日本東京一個同人誌活動會場,年輕人行經漫畫海報.

PHOTO: EPA

Comic books are no laughing matter in Japan, whose diplomats have announced an international award to promote the art — and with it, they hope, the country.

Japan said it was creating the International Manga Award for one foreign artist and three runners-up to be conferred in July.

Comics and cartoons, referred to as "manga" in Japan, are hugely popular among both adults and children.

"With this award, it is hoped that the understanding of Japanese culture among foreign comic artists will be further enhanced," a foreign ministry statement said.

The award will be annual and entail a visit to Japan but will not include prize money, a foreign ministry official said.

The award is the brainchild of Foreign Minister Taro Aso, a gruff 66-year-old former businessman known to be an avid manga reader.

In a speech last year, Aso called for "the equivalent of a Nobel prize in manga" and hoped recipients would feel a bond with Japan.

"Manga, as a genre originating in Japan, is truly unique in its form of presentation and expression. In manga, it is possible to depict the realities of life or convey to the reader a person's innermost thoughts," Aso said at the time.

"With all due respect to Mickey and Donald, if you look at J-pop, J-anime, or J-fashion, the competitiveness of any of these is much stronger than you might imagine."

(AFP)

在日本,漫畫書是不可玩笑視之的東西,為了推廣這項藝術,當地外交官員宣佈設立一項國際大獎,並希望藉此宣傳日本國際形象。

日方表示,針對國外優秀漫畫家成立的「國際漫畫賞」將選出一部優勝作品及三部佳作,並於七月舉行頒獎儀式。

連環漫畫與卡通(日本統稱為「漫畫」)廣受成人及兒童喜愛。

外務省在一份聲明中表示:「希望藉由這個獎項讓國外漫畫家更進一步了解日本文化。」

外務省一名官員表示,年度「國際漫畫賞」的獲勝者將應邀赴日,但不會獲頒獎金。

想出這個計畫的是現年六十六歲的外相麻生太郎,過去經商且不苟言笑的他是個超級漫畫迷。

麻生太郎去年在一場演說中呼籲設立一個「漫畫界的諾貝爾獎」,並期許獲獎者能更貼近日本。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Sarah: I think I'm going to try to enter that new manga competition that the Japanese government is launching.

Sally: That's a brilliant idea. I really think that your drawings are top notch.

Sarah: Thank you!

Sally: Well, it's true.

Sarah: It's very sweet of you to say so.

莎拉:我想試試自己能否在日本政府推行的新漫畫大賽中獲勝。

莎莉:這想法很棒耶。我真的覺得妳的畫是一流的。

莎拉:謝囉!

莎莉:是真的啦。

莎拉:妳人真好。

top notch 一流的

You can say that something is top notch if you think that it is one of the best examples of something. For example: "I love the food at that restaurant — and their service is top notch too."

「top notch」意指品質最優者,例如:「我很愛那家餐廳的食物,他們的服務也是一流的」。


當時麻生太郎說:「起源於日本的漫畫,呈現及表達方式自成一格。漫畫可以描繪現實生活狀況,也能傳遞個人內心深處的想法給讀者。」

「我無意冒犯米老鼠和唐老鴨,但日本流行音樂、日本動畫和日本流行時尚全都比你想像的更具競爭力。」

(法新社/翻譯:林倩如)

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