The phenomenon of manga, a Japanese style of comics that has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world, has a unique feature: it is read from right to left. This style of reading, known as “Oriental reading,” is a tradition rooted in Japanese culture and originating in traditional Japanese writing.
Japanese was traditionally written in vertical columns, which were read from right to left, as opposed to the Western style of writing, which is horizontal from left to right. When manga began to gain popularity in Japan in the early 20th century, this style of writing was adopted as a way to remain consistent with the way the Japanese language was read in other printed media such as newspapers and books.
The decision to read manga from right to left is not only a matter of cultural consistency, but also based on practical considerations. Mangakas, or manga creators, carefully design their panels and vignette sequences so that they can be read in a specific order. By maintaining the original page orientation, readers can experience the visual narrative as the artist intended without having to change the sequence of panels.
While reading from right to left may be confusing at first for readers accustomed to Western style, it quickly becomes second nature to those immersed in the world of manga. In fact, many readers are beginning to appreciate the uniqueness of this reading style, which adds an element of cultural authenticity and contributes to a unique manga reading experience.
In conclusion, the fact that manga is read from right to left is a practice rooted in Japanese cultural tradition and has become a distinctive characteristic of the medium. This choice not only reflects traditional Japanese writing, but also allows readers to be fully immersed in the visual storytelling created by the manga artists.
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