Graduate School School of Manga (Master’s, Doctorate [Ph.D.] Program)

School of Manga (Master’s Program and Doctorate [Ph.D.] Program)

Graduate School of Manga: Master’s Program

Gathering the standard-bearers of the next generation of Japan’s world-class manga.

Japanese manga has spread all over the globe and attracted intense attention.
Its means of expression diversify every minute, evolving new media and broadening its market.
Manga artists do not confine themselves to current forms but work to open up new kinds of creative expression.
Researchers meanwhile support them, sometimes as critics, sometimes as producers.
SEIKA’s Graduate School of Manga fosters the new generation of manga culture leaders.

1.Pursuing the essence of manga at the cutting edge of research

SEIKA has led the world in manga research, establishing the first ever faculty for teaching manga in Japan in 2006, followed by the country’s first manga graduate department in 2010. Manga is not just a resource to be examined; SEIKA’s research is rare in its serious investigation into the very essence of manga itself. Further, through the University’s International Manga Research Center and the Kyoto International Manga Museum, in cooperation with Kyoto City, SEIKA is molding a whole new level of manga research possibilities.

2.Learning from artists, editors and international researchers

The researchers at SEIKA are manga specialists working in international institutions, drawn from leading editors and manga artists and writers. The University has attracted recognition early on for its manga rsearch tutors’ abilities, teaching methods, and research results, demonstrating the potential of manga. Interaction between our students is also one of the characteristics of the graduate school. The theory and practice program scholars work together to deepen each other’s knowledge and awareness of the key issues in manga, and evolve multilateral research even further.

3.Transmitting Japanese manga culture out into the world

As society becomes more globalized and Japanese manga garners more and more attention from overseas, SEIKA plays a significant role as a foundational research base, aiding in the transmission of Japanese manga the rest of the world. Our Graduate School of Manga scholars participate in international organizations and comics events, widening the global manga culture network. There are also many international students, leading to inter-cultural exchanges on a daily basis. Through these activities, which maintain a world-wide perspective, the University fosters the human resources for working internationally.

Graduate School of Manga: Doctorate (Ph.D.) Program

Leading international manga creativity and research, and fostering people who can pioneer new possibilities.

Today in Japan manga research and global manga criticism necessitates leadership for manga research, and improved research and creative levels in international manga. For this, deeper knowledge and expressive abilities become essential.
The SEIKA Graduate School of Manga Doctorate Program enhances high-level specialist competence allowing scholars to work internationally, through examining overseas literature and research into international manga and comics culture. Via a global network and the dual perspectives of both practical and theory programs unique to the University, the Graduate School aims to foster human skills and resources that can construct new academic fields in manga research, contributing to the further ecolution of manga art.

Unique Program Projects

1.Dispatching Manga Art & Culture out into the World

SEIKA’s Graduate School of Manga does not just introduce manga culture but proactively has its scholars take part in exhibitions and international academic events. For example, in conferences held in Korea, women artists’ workshops in Singapore, or even at international comics salon events in Germany,our graduate students conduct research and practical work, all the while communicating and mixing with global artists and editors, and manga readers. Through having students create their own networks, we build up human resources capable of taking the initiative in international manga research.

Dispatching Manga Art & Culture out into the World。

2.Broadly Re-Examining Manga Research Results in Society

Even though manga is massively popular, there are few examples of manga research results being made public. Accordingly, Kyoto Seika University’s International Manga Research Center regularly holds public research meetings at the Kyoto International Manga Museum.Graduate scholars participated in July 2011 in mid-research briefing sessions illuminating the work they had done so far for their Master’s dissertations, with the attendance of not only fellow scholars but also many ordinary manga readers. By re-questioning research activities in society, new forms of communication for manga culture are born.

The results announced at the Graduate School of Manga public research session (July 16th, 2011) can be viewed here.

Broadly Re-Examining Manga Research Results in Society

3.Curating Unique Exhibitions Displaying Manga’s Appeal

SEIKA graduate students were responsible for producing and curating the “Gonin, Goshiki” (Five People, Five Colors) exhibition held at the Kyoto International Manga Museum in May 2011. They had to plan how to organize the exhibition of five of the University’s teaching staff, all manga artists themselves, and then actually run the event during the exhibition period. For example, when exhibiting Akira Sasou’s “Mt. Fuji,” in order to take advantage of the work’s literariness, the dialogs and monologues in the manga were magnified. Further, theory graduate students interviewed the tutors for a booklet commenting on the works displayed and the artists’ characteristics, which was then distributed to visitors.


Work Produced at the School of Manga

“Reverse Point”

“Reverse Point” by Bonuon Ku

“Reverse Point” consists of two fourteen-page manga stories. One is written vertically, open from the right (Japanese-style), while the second is written horizontally and opens from the left (Western-style). Both the male and female protagonists express the same content, each from their own perspectives, with the last page of each work as a final meeting-point.

“Falling Star: Hope” (top), “Death: Soul Stealing” (bottom)
LUO Rong Rong

Each 650 x 420mm

Using symbolism, the influence of totalitarianism on a people and the fear born out of the regime are brought into relief by the manga imagery in this work.

“Falling Star: Hope” (top), “Death: Soul Stealing” (bottom)
“Family Days”

“Family Days” Yukiko Matsubara

This manga series is themed around the family and consists of two separate works. The pictures, the settings and the style were deliberately altered and both have appeared in commercial magazines.

Manga Practice

Final graduate work planned for publication in Germany and Japan.

Christina Plaka

Master’s Program 2nd Year Student

From a young age I liked Japanese manga and anime, and at university in Germany I majored in Japanese Studies. I made my manga debut in Germany’s first shojo manga magazine during my university days. Although I had become the first German female manga artist, my desire to study manga in Japan did not disappear, and I chose Kyoto Seika University’s Graduate School where you can specialize in research into manga.
Currently I am working on a personal diary-style manga and have started to draw the memories I want to keep of the most important experiences I have had in Kyoto. I have come up with the storyboards for it but have heard different opinions from teachers and friends about the drawing style, so it is now a case of trial and error. I hope to publish this work in both Japan and Germany.

Christina Plaka

Manga Theory

Seeking critiques of manga through discussion.

Kenta Toda

Master’s Program 2nd Year Student

I am conducting research into the theme of how manga is critiqued. I am interested in the discourse of how manga has been discussed up to now. Apart from the way that a manga story presents isues of concern to the readers and the society that it originates in, I want to see if there is a critique coming from the act of discussing such stories. Based on this idea it is my intention to weave together various analyses of manga stories discussed since the 2000s.
I studied as an undergraduate at a different university but found SEIKA’s Graduate School, with its specialist manga research course, very appealing. I think that being in an environment where I can study alongside manga creators is very valuable. I can acquire wide-ranging perspectives here.

Kenta Toda

Course Tutors

The Joint Introductory Course, which allows you to study across Kyoto Seika University’s four Graduate Schools, and the Specialist Lecture Course create a practical educational and research environment, from lecturers working at the forefront of their specialist fields. The Specialist Research Course at every Graduate School undertakes thorough instruction from experienced research tutors according to each individual research theme.


Academic Affairs Section, Academic Affairs Office (Graduate School), Kyoto Seika University

Members & Visiting Faculty Members

The Joint Introductory Course, which allows you to study across four Schools, and the Specialist Lecture Course create a practical educational and research environment, from lecturers working at the forefront of their specialist fields. The Specialist Research Course at every School undertakes thorough instruction from experienced research tutors according to each individual research theme.