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World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls' Desires

At the Mishkin Gallery, February 4 - 27

shojo manga


NEW YORK, NY- February 5, 2015- Baruch College will present the exhibition World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires at the Mishkin Gallery from Wednesday, February 4 to Friday, February 27, 2014. An opening reception will take place on Tuesday, February 3, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Japanese manga (graphic novels or comics) have assumed an increasingly important role not only in Japanese pop culture, but also on the worldwide stage in the twenty-first century. This exhibition of shojo (girls’) manga is the first to focus on this unique genre. The show also highlights the specific phenomenon of women’s changing roles and expectations in Japan, thus facilitating a significant discussion of gender in manga and in Japanese culture as a whole.

Modern manga developed in Japan during the Occupation and the post-Occupation years (from 1945 to the early 1960s) as entertainment for children. It is comprised of themes ranging from historical drama, comedy, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror. Japanese manga has split into boys’ (shonen) and girls’ (shojo) manga, each developing in its own way, with its own specific themes. Regardless of the subject, the main theme in boy’s manga is competitive fighting. It shows how the boy-heroes become men by protecting women, family, country, or the earth from enemies.

Shojo, or girls’, manga, on the other hand, contends that the most important goal for girls is to find love through the process of overcoming obstacles. Over time, the topics in shojo manga have changed and diversified in response to girls’ expectations in the years since World War II. They now reflect a broad range of female desires and concerns for individual identity.

Manga uses a complex visual grammar that has developed in response to the increasing number of mature adult readers who expect sophisticated plots and character development. The depiction of three elements: pictures, words, and panels, changes according to the characters’ emotions, interior psychological states, external voices or silent thoughts. The variations in use of the pictures, words, and panels also reveal shifts in time between the past, present, and future.

The exhibition features 12 artists and includes 59 drawings, watercolors, and reprinted illustrations, as well as shojo manga books and magazines. Dr. Masami Toku, curator of the show, has selected artists who represent the three periods in the development of shojo manga: the dawn of shojo manga around World War II; the diversification of shojo manga in the 1970s; and a new direction in the 21st century as shojo manga incorporates the influences of the global comic market.

Symposium: Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom: Thursday, February 19, 12:40 to 2:20 p.m. Call Gallery for location. Speakers: Dr. Masami Toku, Professor at California State University, Chico; Dr. Kathryn Hemmann, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; and Mr. Ed Chavez, Marketing Director at Vertical, Inc. The symposium is sponsored by the Japan Foundation, New York.

The Mishkin Gallery is located at 135 E. 22nd Street in Manhattan. Gallery hours are Monday Friday, noon to 5 pm; Thursday, noon to 7 pm. The gallery is free and open to the public.


For information about this exhibition or symposium, please call Gallery Director, Sandra Kraskin, at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery (646) 660-6652.



About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to



Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,

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