Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

An artifact from a more civilized time: Mangajin

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Paint me happy, oh so happy.
I was doing my old and wise bit talking with a friend that is a respected author of essays on Japanese comics and animation, and I remembered with nostalgia the magazine Mangajin, that to us Orientalists Anonymous of the last century was a source of delight and information in the wild years between the end of the ’80s and the early ’90s.

Mangajin_01Mangajin was an English-language magazine for students of Japanese, that used Japanese comics, that is, manga, as a learning support for both language and Japanese culture.
It was quite good, and here in Italy old copies, six months out of date, were sold for fifteen or twenty times the cover price by astute retailers that were capitalizing on the new fad (bastards!)

I have a few issues, and the two volumes of collected material that were published after the magazine shut down in ’97.
But now, in order to show my friend this artifact of a more civilized time, I did a quick web search, and found out the first 30 issues of the magazine can be browsed online, on the SPCTRUM NEXUS website.

Mangajin_01_p01

This is a wonderful find for me – a fun, user friendly Japanese-learning tool, that was to many of us the first gateway into the wonders and horror of Japanese language.

So yes, I am absolutely happy.

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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