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The Diffusion of Foreign Cultural Products:

The Case Analysis
of Japanese Comics (Manga) Market in the U.S.


Working Paper #37, Spring 2009

Takeshi Matsui

Matsui outlines the historical development of the U.S. manga (Japanese comics) industry from the 1980s through the present in order to address the question of why foreign cultural products become popular in offshore markets in spite of cultural differences. He focuses on local publishers as “gatekeepers”  in the introduction of foreign culture. Using complete data on manga titles published in the U.S. market from 1980 to 2006, he shows what kinds of manga have been translated, published, and distributed for over twenty years and how the competition between the two market leaders, Viz and Tokyopop, created the rapid market growth.

Full text version in PDF format.

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