Japan Homestay: Spend a week at Manga-U!
Posted by Glenn Kardy on
Manga University is the educational imprint of Japanime Company Ltd., a publishing company based in Kawaguchi, Japan, with offices in California.
Our company motto, "Educating With Art," reflects our commitment to creating products that are wholesome, informative and fun. We love manga, and believe it can — and should —be used for more than just great entertainment.
In fact, we know it can! In Japan, educational and lifestyle manga are quite common. Studying for your driver's license test? Visit your neighborhood koban (police box) and the officer will provide you with a manga explaining traffic laws. Trying to get back into shape? Your Japanese doctor will give you a manga with exercise and diet tips. Applying for a part-time job at the local konbini (convenience store)? Don't be surprised if the application is filled with little cartoon characters explaining the hiring process!
Those fantastic manga images can simplify things that might be otherwise very difficult to understand. (Admit it — you looked at the pictures on this page before reading this far, right?) More importantly, it makes learning more fun! No one understands this better than a manga fan, and that's why we want to make books that teach you about the things you want to learn!
RIGHT AT HOME IN JAPAN
Our offices are in Kawaguchi City, 20 minutes north of Tokyo, in a sleek building that once served as a traditional Japanese restaurant. While the kitchen and dishwashing areas have been taken over by desks and computers, we left the private tatami dining rooms untouched, and now use them for meetings with our Japanese colleagues to make them feel completely at home.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
Glenn Kardy is the founder and CEO of Japanime. Glenn's background is in journalism (San Francisco-style), and has worked as both a reporter and an editor for major newspapers on both sides of the Pacific. He has lived in Japan since 1995.
Glenn founded Japanime in 1998 as an anime goods and toy shop to bring the fun of Japanese culture overseas. After watching people develop an interest in Japan through comics and animation, Glenn returned to his roots — journalism and publishing — and the Manga University imprint was born.
He may be the head of Manga University, but Glenn also handles everything from planning, creating, writing, designing and editing our award-winning publications to overseeing the day-to-day operations of our Campus Store.
When he isn't busy running the company, Glenn likes go on really, really long walks. The 20-mile trek from our office to the Tokyo Sky Tree is a favorite. He also enjoys watching Oakland A's baseball games (but only when they win). He loves living in Japan, but really misses California's taco trucks.
Want to find out what's going on in the mind of a manga publisher 24/7? You can follow him on the Manga University Twitter page @mangauniversity.
Mari Oyama is Japanime's director of domestic logistics. She coordinates artist publishing schedules, handles meeting and travel arrangements, and works closely with the company's foreign employees. Mari also holds a Japan national travel adviser's license, and is our go-to person for those Japanese culture questions that only a real Nihonjin can explain. None of the Manga University publications would have been possible without her invaluable guidance.
Mari enjoys kids, cats and gardening, and maintains a dizzying array of potted plants on the rooftop patio just above our offices.
Ready to begin? Purchase individual volumes — available as both traditional printed books as well as ebooks — or go for the bargain-priced Kanji de Manga Complete Set.
Judy and Ron Hibbard live in Sacramento, California, and keep watch over the Japanime warehouse. We depend on them to make sure all of our Campus Store and wholesale orders are shipped out quickly and safely every day, and they never fail to get the job done.
Since our launch more than a decade ago, we've released more than 40 titles, including several editions of the renowned How to Draw Manga series; the Japanese government award-winning Kanji de Manga series; the runaway bestseller Manga Moods (and its equally delightful sequel, Manga Moods, Too); and the yummy Manga Cookbook, an American Library Association Top 10 Paperback selection.
IS MANGA UNIVERSITY A REAL SCHOOL?
Yes, and no. We get e-mails every day asking about enrollment in Manga University, but we simply call ourselves a "university" to emphasize the educational nature of our products and services.
However, Glenn and our artists have conducted lectures and seminars at Temple University's Tokyo campus, and we do offer an Home Study Course for students of all ages who want to get better at drawing manga. We also regularly arrange workshops, private lessons and Japan homestay programs with professional manga artists here in Japan. If you are interested in any of these learning opportunities, please contact us.