Hajimari. Beginning. The start. The foundation. The cause.
Many of us often neglect the beginning because we’re so caught up in the present and the future. We often assess today — with hopes to move forward — and yet we tend to forget and reflect on why we are even here and the purpose of our existence.
The beginning is as crucial as our present. But where do we begin? From our birth? From the time we became conscious? Or is it even further? How do we identify ourselves from the start?
History is an important, if not a convenient player, on helping us identify who we are. If your local historian is good, he or she gives you a nationality to identify with. However, if your historian is great, then not only do historical people shape your perceptions of nationality, but it even pushes you to question and shape your own emotions, thoughts, and the character you consider your identity.
History has the power to shape us. And it shapes us in the most conventional ways such as through textbooks, museums, classrooms, and heritage sites. And then there are unconventional ways, through stories both real and imagined, of which some are written as novels while some are drawn in pages of comics.
This month’s Manga Moveable Feast is a celebration of the great histories in manga that has moved and shaped our lives. We are looking at the grand romances of the French Revolution and Victorian England. We will be moved by the heroism of soldiers, shocked by the horrors of war, and weep at the sorrows that come after.
This MMF will be looking at great historical stories that help us not only recognize the differences in people’s culture but also the similarities in our human experience and how their history is our history as well.
I’m happy to welcome you to this beginning — history’s beginning in manga.
The History MMF will be running from 24 March – 1 April 2014. If you’ve tackled historical manga one way or the other, please feel free to check this MMF’s guidelines. Send a tweet, a tumble, or an email with the hashtag #historymmf or the subject [historymmf]. I’ll be posting an article hopefully by tonight and as well as a round of people’s historicity.