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Saving comics

The phenomenon of the Japanese mass cult is on guard of public order

Saving comics

Not many people know that every fourth copy of book and magazine production in Japan is manga (comics). The first Japanese humorous drawings with signatures date back to the 11th century. This tradition permeates history so deeply that when the technology of modern comics was brought to Japan by the Americans in the 19th century, it hit a solid cultural platform. The Japanese "imported" the external form of the American product - colorful frames with "clouds" for speech, and, filling it with their own content, launched an industry the scale of which at that time was never dreamed of by the Americans.

Today dozens of publishing houses produce about 1,6 billion copies of comics per year with a population of 120 million people. There are comics for boys, girls, boys, girls, adult men and women. There are dozens of specialized magazines devoted to science fiction, ufology, demonology, pornography, sports, gambling, romantic relationships. With millions of copies, Japanese comics have a huge impact on the reader. Researchers say that in modern Japan, comic books are one of the most effective tools for reaching a mass audience and influencing public opinion, as they are able to transmit information much more effectively than "bare" text, writing down information "on the subcortex".

National characteristics

To understand the essence of the "manga", we must first understand the Japanese national character, which is still a mystery to any uninitiated Western man. Japan until the middle of the 12th century actually "cooked in its own juice," and being closed to the outside world, it gave birth to a completely unique type of mentality, completely incomprehensible to people "from the big earth". The country is inhabited by a very closed people, living on a collective principle and holy following the centuries-old traditions. Everyone here sacrifices his own interests in the interests of the group. The greatest merit is to have an unblemished reputation, the biggest shame is to be expelled from the collective. Japanese society mercilessly squeezes the "quality", giving in return a sense of comfort, stability, security and equality in the group. But if this is so, where does the "I" go?

By tradition, the Japanese are allowed to be themselves before school. Japanese children are not measured by any social rulers, they can do whatever they want. Residents of the country fall into the social “treatment” with the first school classes, and the further they develop within the framework of the Japanese model, the stronger the feeling of nostalgia for a carefree childhood. And, being already an adult and serious employee, the Japanese have a craving for boundless fantasy, the vast world of which is offered to him by all sorts of comic books.

Putting yourself on a manga means discovering a whole world of fantastic individual experiences. The “I” of the Japanese gets the opportunity to live and develop among the drawn pictures, because these pictures are primarily aimed at emotional perception. The absence of any restrictions, the triumph of the hero's personality over the enemy and his superior strength and effect, acts on the Japanese as a sedative before going to bed. When an employee comes home from work in the evening, he buys his favorite comic book at the metro station. During the long journey home, he immerses himself in a world where he can laugh at his fears, seduce beautiful women and shoot his enemies with a machine gun. Thus, comics offer the reader a constant "departure" from reality into the fantasy world. The eyes are less tired of comics than of “serious” books, and 10 is much easier to read comics for a minute than to devote to watching dramas on TV. Thanks to manga, in just one second, a young man can be “teleported” to the world of sports and adventures, which he cannot enjoy in reality, and a girl can experience romantic relationships that she does not have.

Painted "vent"

The whole life of the Japanese is clamped in the clutches of conventions, traditions, education ... Suppression of a person as a person, in fact, can not but lead to aggression. From this point of view, the manga is an effective "outlet", which allows you to "lower steam" without threat to society. Comics - this is turned upside down the Japanese reality. On the pages of the magazine the hero can yell at the authorities, violate the laws, traditions ... He can do everything that is unattainable for the Japanese. If in life, as we have already noted, the Japanese put the interests of the group above personal interests, in comics it's the other way around. We see single heroes who act solely in their own way. If it is not customary for a Japanese to express his feelings openly, then every emotion is brought to its apogee. Laughter, cackle, tears of the river, fear of trembling in the knees or universal longing. You can transgress the law, indulge in debauchery, deceive, escape responsibility, love (after all, Japan is an extremely unsettled country "on a personal level").

For the Japanese mentality, such a world is a world of utopia, utterly unrealistic hopes. The world of manga is a fairy tale. All the characters are either absolutely correct or absolutely negative. And the mood swings of the heroes almost do not know the transitional forms.

However, despite the fact that "the forbidden fruit is always sweeter," no Japanese will ever allow himself to transfer manga principles to real life. And this is the main paradox and the main difference between the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun from Western states.

Where does violence come from?

In the United States, under pressure from the authorities, religious organizations, and educational organizations, since the 50s, very strict regulation of comic book content has been introduced. Assessing this type of printed materials on the system of "ratings", publishers very quickly "dealt" with violence and cruelty. Representatives of the state (sheriffs, policemen, judges) must be presented in a good light, good must win, family values ​​can not be questioned. Violence, obscene language and any hints of sexual relations - under the strictest prohibition. The consequence of such self-restraints was a sharp drop in circulation (from a billion in 1954 a year to 138 millions in 1994).

In Japan, manga is not censored: sex and violence bloom on the pages of comic books. From the published report on the results of the study of television programs for 1979, it follows that Japanese television shows on average one day 90 murder scenes (among them committed with particular cruelty), 35,7 rape scenes, 46,1 - violence, 25,9 - vandalism, 2 - theft. However, the “crime rate” in the USA is higher than in Japan for murders - 5,6 times, robbery attacks - 112,5 times, rapes - 12,3 times, causing grievous bodily harm - 10 times. In addition, in the United States, an increase in the number of serious crimes is ahead of the growth rate of minor crimes. Japanese comics do not "warm up" the appetite for further physical knowledge of the world (to commit acts like a hero). On the contrary, they quench this appetite, because they allow the hero to fully experience this act from all sides and in such detail that the need for a further own experiment simply disappears. Akira Fukushima, a Japanese psychiatrist and writer, writes: “There is no evidence of a link between sexual information and sexual offenses. Moreover, the number of sex crimes is inversely proportional to the amount of sexual information, because information of a sexual nature can replace real sexual development. ”

Psychology of perception

The average Japanese spends about 20 minutes to read the 320-page issue of the manga magazine. After subtracting pages filled with ads, we get that to read one page of the manga the Japanese allocates an average of 3,75 - 4 seconds. That is, once in 8 seconds it turns the page.

Just note that if you flip pages "in the right way" often, that is, with your right-hand fingers grab the corner of one page, physical fatigue quickly accumulates. Therefore, often Japanese read comics, holding the magazine simultaneously in two hands and "squashing" the thumb of the left hand on one page every 8 seconds.

Slowly read comics, as the Japanese admit, just uninteresting - the dynamic effect disappears. Magazines are designed for instant and complex perception "in general", and this is their main advantage.

Based on medical terms, the Japanese psychoneurologist researcher proves that the "quick reading" of comics does not "strain" the front lobes of the brain, which can later be expressed in some "lack" of discipline. But on the other hand, for the reason that comics combine text and pictures, when reading "work", both right and left hemispheres, which aggravates and "trains" human feelings.

A little text, many pictures - this is the Japanese comic book. He grasps at the level of the subconscious, and there is no point in getting into the text, because he does not define the plot and the concept of the comics. The text is the channel and various "bows" - jokes, sayings. All the most important for the reader - emotions, experiences of heroes - the artist passes by graphic methods, symbols, sometimes - "exclusive", sometimes - "stamps".

Golden Mass Cult

Japanese popular culture covers almost all spheres of Japanese life. Here and mass consumption of goods, designed for a wide audience, and the sudden activation of the entire Japanese society in connection with various national events - both sports and political. This is exactly the way the famous “Japanese miracle” works - according to this signal, the entire Japanese society is set in motion and starts implementing a national action plan within the framework of the prescribed instructions. Moreover, it looks like a free choice of free people, who, by virtue of their social structure, just follow the current social attitudes and needs.

Manga in the general range of Japanese popular culture occupies a solid niche of entertainment culture. One of the main effects of manga on society is the formation of archetypes, when images, heroes, manga narratives become a part of the collective unconscious. From here - direct access to the consumer complex.

There is the concept of manga-cycle, as an indirect description of the economic scale of the phenomenon. At the heart of it is a serial story published in magazines with different frequency (weekly, publications, published once a week in 2, monthly, etc.). Success in the first stage provokes all subsequent ones. This is the publication of comic books in separate editions, first in collections, then in “complete collections,” up to solid hardcover editions. This is followed by anime - the film adaptation of a successful manga, rental in movies and on television. The next stage is a theatrical performance based on manga. The cycle may be repeated several times. And then it is - food for the largest industry. Here and music "under the manga", and toys, and computer games, and even full-fledged books, written on the manga subjects. The most popular characters are registered as trademarks, ensuring further uninterrupted work on the owner.

Sales manga "second cycle" ("collected works") - a super-income article. Manga "Doraemon" about the bizarre robot cat, issued by a separate edition on good paper in 33 volumes (!) Was swept away from the counters cleaned. At the cost of one "bundle" more than 100 dollars, in total after multiple reissues 55 millions "sets" were sold - for the sum of more than 5 billion dollars!

And then a small Japanese “property” begins to work: personal opinion and the act of the Japanese are divided by the category of consciousness. Consciousness of their place and the rules of behavior in this place. Creating archetypes, telling incredible stories about intergalactic battles and valiant samurai, manga artists work directly with the public consciousness, in many respects "draw" and his.

The proof is one. If we abstract for a moment from the understanding of "public opinion" in the political sense, we will see an interesting picture. Comics and their motifs permeated the whole Japanese life. You can hardly buy goods for home: a piece of soap, for example, or a pencil, or a trash can, or a fan, or a music center - and not find on the package a face from comics with big eyes. If this is so, then this is the demand of the market, so these are the needs of the buyer, such is his view of the world around him.

In fact, with the development of the economy, the Japanese have come to differentiated approach to influencing public opinion. Politics was given to serious newspapers and seriousness-seeking journals. The economy in many ways went to the manga.

"Act", which is committed by a Japanese under the pressure of manga images - is the purchase of a product. This is not "frontal advertising," which also often uses comics. This is a large-scale and long-term stimulation of consumption, expressed in a desire to "match" the national "style" of big eyes and cute little animals. This means, indirectly, this is the platform for further economic development of the country.

But it would be wrong to narrow the influence of the manga on the public to the ordinary economic "tool". Yes, the country's economy in many ways turned out to be "on the needle" of the manga, when comic characters appear in the most unexpected places, for everything where comics are available is sold. But in the impact of manga, people can find much deeper, and far from unambiguous layers.

American researcher Alex Kerr writes: “The population of Japan turns into children ... There is a“ freezing ”of the emotional development of children at a level when they do not yet have to take on“ adult ”responsibility for their lives ... As a result, total nostalgia for childhood . And not for “wild” and free childhood, but for mom, home and care. ”

"Playing toys" permeated the entire modern life of the Japanese. Under the influence of manga gets design and architecture, the sphere of human relations. It is possible to treat this infantilism in two ways. On the one hand, this is a large-scale potential threat, because people will not be able to do anything if some extraordinary situation happens, if the “game” goes beyond the rules. There is no practical sense from the surrounding toys, the “frozen consciousness” is not capable of making a decision on its own. But on the other hand, the Japanese system is built like this: it seeks to calculate any such situations, and can offer every citizen social guarantees in exchange for trust and loyalty.

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