Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
The Foreign Ministry is now accepting submissions from aspiring manga artists around the globe for the 5th International Manga Award, officials said.
The prestigious Gold Award will be given to the best work, while three works will receive the Silver Award, the officials said. More prizes are to be given to distinguished works.
Entries will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2011, and the award-giving ceremony will be held in March 2012 in Tokyo, the officials said.
The winners of the Gold and Silver awards will be invited to Japan to attend the ceremony, meet professional manga artists and visit publishers.
The International Manga Award was established in 2007 at the initiative of then-Foreign Minister Taro Aso to help promote manga culture in overseas countries and honor outstanding manga artists.
The foreign minister, an ardent fan of manga, serves as head of the International Manga Award Executive Committee, which hosts the award.
Aso once said that there should be a “Nobel Prize” for Japanese manga.
The award is also aimed at encouraging international cultural exchange by drawing attention to countries and regions where the winners are from and inviting them to Japan.
No specific style is required for submissions. Since many of the entries emulate the Japanese style of manga, the award also serves as a showcase on how widely spread the manga culture has become across the world. It also shows the latest trends in manga overseas.
Works produced within the past three years are eligible, regardless of their status as published or unpublished and professional or non-professional.
The prize has served as a spring board for an increasing number of aspiring cartoonists as many past winners have gone on to launch their professional careers.
With the fifth installment coming along, the International Manga For detailed information, visit (http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2011/7/0721_03.html).
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