Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Adult Coloring Books

Poe no Ichizoku Coloring Book for AdultsAki gave me an interestng tip on the latest fads in Japan: coloring books for adults. And, as you can see on the left, there is one for "Poe no Ichizoku", too!

Apparently, it is getting popular for adults to do coloring in Japan. According to this article, it started when a Tokyo-based publisher called Relief Systems started "Nurie Club (Coloring Book Club)" in 2004. Those coloring books feature western masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci's or impressionists', so it is a lot more complicated than what you might get for your children. They are intended for adults (40+) as a way of relieving stress and stimulating brain activities. Thinking about color coordination is supposed to be good for that. Here is another article that gives more details about the origin of Nurie Club. With success comes competition. The publisher of the shojo manga coloring books is one of them (though they have long tradition as a coloring book publisher for children). The online shop Ambee Market takes overseas orders ;>

I always associated manga with youth culture, so I find it weird that this kind of stuff is popular with older generations, but it is simply a nostalgia thing in Japan, I guess. Does it mean younger people have no interest in older classics like "Poe"? I hope that all generations can discover and explore manga that was not produced during their own personal youths. Good works should supercede a particular narrow window of popularity.

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