"Hey there, what's your major?"
Yup. Soon comics lovers will be able to get an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in manga as organizations have recently announced plans to establish four-year universities and even a grad school specializing in manga.
The education ministry said in April that applications were filed by the end of March for the opening of three four-year universities and a graduate school in the 2015 academic year.
Of these, Osaka Sogo Manga Geijutsu Daigaku (Osaka Comprehensive Technical University for Manga Arts) is being planned by Ueda Gakuen.
According to the application, the single-department university will only offer courses for digital manga and digital comic arts at the start.
The university will accommodate up to 90 students for the first academic year and accept up to 20 transfer students for their junior year.
Established in 1941, Ueda Gakuen has offered education in fashion and design. The school corporation intends to make full use of its expertise in nurturing creative young minds to offer manga education in the digital age.
Amid the declining population, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get approval from the government to open new colleges and courses.
But it is relatively easier to gain approval for efforts related to nursing care and information technology industries, which are expected to show growth. The government is also putting its muscle into encouraging creative content and digital technology businesses.
Meanwhile, academic programs related to manga, anime and other forms of pop culture have been offered on an increasingly wider scale.
The success of Kyoto Seika University's Faculty of Manga is widely known in the Kansai region, while Meiji University in Tokyo has drawn attention for its research and education on pop culture at its School of Global Japanese Studies.
If the new Osaka manga university is given a green light, the competing universities may intensify their efforts to attract students.
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