Manga class day InsideJapan holiday blog by oil simpson88


Blimey that’s a fat white lad there. Oh waits that’s me 😃.

Manga class day today, so after breakfast (which was a nice mix of Rice Krispies, egg, bacon sausages garlic toast and croissants). 

I met my Japanese guide for the day Ayano Endo. She was very nice and knowledgeable about a lot of things and it was very enjoyable chatting to her about a lot of topics and subjects about manga and anime, as well as comparing Japan and Britain with each other. 

Plus she was able to translate everything though I did speak a bit of Japanese in places really basic stuff, but they really appreciated it when I did.

Since English can be a hard language for Japanese people to grasp for a number of reasons, I.E due to their language not having a syntax for the L word and having a lot of r syntax to their language. Which as Ayano related to when she was on a exchange program in Canada where it took her five times for a Canadian to understand her request for water, and that was due to someone she knew there teaching her the British English way of saying it. Fault is more on the Canadian person since she said it fine to me in her Japanese tone way. 

We also had an interesting discussion on accents in both England and Japan. As like England japan has regional dialog and people from Osaka and Kansai region can sound different than people from Tokyo. Like how people from say Newcastle sound different than someone from London can sound. As most japs in anime use Tokyo accents due to some feeling they will be mocked or not understood if they used Kansai or other area accents.

She plans to go back to uni and study quite a bit on Japanese tourism subjects, mix of anime and Manga I.E its influences aboard, Japanese social structures and other topics so she can learn more stuff and increase her range of knowledge.


She was older than I thought, 35 when I asked her after guessing it for a minute or two. This pic was taken at akihabara where she dropped me off once manga class was done. 

Took us round about 40 minutes to get to the Managa animation class in Yokohama, we were early so we went into a Family mart store and had a chat about the manga section they tend to have in Japanese convenience stores, the sort they have and as well about why Japan does a lot of mascots and how it compares to the west etc (we did this a lot today since we liked how it was to measure Japan and Britain with each other and how similar the two can be at times). 

Once it was time we went to the manga class. 


Got there met the teacher who is called Ikuo Matsuda, who has been teaching for over 30 years of drawing manga after learning from Mikiya Mochizuki (he did the manga Wild 7 from the 60’s 70’s have heard of it but never read it so older manga fans may know of it). 

So met the class for today only a few students who introduced myself to. They were quite shy especially the one on the far right, she basically whispered her introduction. From what Ikuo told me they don’t get many western people that come to the class, mostly Americans but recently more English people are coming to the class to visit. Recent one was some author I think surname melly something from camebridge.

So got down to the lesson, where Ikuo taught me about the way drawings are done in manga, the different genres of it that I knew already, what sort of pens are used etc. I chose to use what is called the spoon pen, simply cause it’s shaped like a spoon. 


Started by doing lines with the pen, not as easy as it seems by the picture, had to do thin lines, thick lines and squibbly lines and sometimes a mix of all three. Got used to it quickly enough and I think Ikuo-sensi was impressed by how I grasped it. The guide was especially but this was her first time doing this. 

She had a go but found it hard to do. 

Then I was given a choice of tracing over some anime sketches chose Naruto one since that one looked good to do. 


I actually reminded myself today of that joke in chasing Amy where Jason Lee character is heckled for being a tracer (even though what he does is actually quite important to the drawing process). It’s tricky drawing within the lines and the times your supposed to do a sketch mark I could hardly do it due to me being not quite good at doing that sort of thing with a pen. 


The blob bits are the result of my sketch marks at times. Whoops 😔. 

Then we had lunch, which surprised me as I wasn’t expecting that, just a miso soup and egg and ham sandwich but it was very nice of Ikuo to get me and Ayano lunch.

Then I did what is called the colouring process which is colouring in the bits marked by Ikuo with the black marker pen he gave me. Where first I did the outside lines, then I coloured the rest of it in. 


The results of my attempts. Not too bad eh 😏. 

We then did was is called the screen tone process. It’s called that as what it is adding a design or pattern to the background of the drawing, whether it’s lines, poka dots you name it. It starts with first choosing the background, then you outline the but where the background will go, doing it bigger than outline the colour section. 

Then you cut the background but over the chosen area with a chopboard and cutting knife. Then you peel off the unwanted bids and make sure it will stick on with a tissue and afterwards a flatter ruler type object. 

Now some info on Ikuo, mentioned before he learnt under Mikiya Mochizuki. He has also spent years working at the Yoyogi animation school (that’s where my manga class was originally going to take place until the Japanese inside japan staff suggested Ikuo instead, good decision I feel). Til 2011 when he opened up his own school. He has done lectures aboard in Italy where there is a number of manga fans over there. In Sweden and last year for the Managa workshop in Kenya at the Japanese embassy. 

He is also a big Beatles fan, playing hey Jude in the background via jazz, he also has done a 50 manga page of going to a Paul McCartney concert, 


He even gave me photocopies of the story and of another piece of his own work of drawings autograph as well with them. Really made my day that, along with letting me keep my stuff I did in the class as well. 


Me and Ikuo-sensei in a photo.

Once the screen tone was done the lesson was finished. So got the class photo done, the other man very nicely gave everyone a donut which was quite nice. 

Then I asked Ayano to take me to akihabara since I wanted to see the place. 

We parted ways there but not before we gave each other a small gift. I gave her some fruit pastels and she gave me a volume of Naruto. Chapters from part one from 136 to 141 the parts where the third hokage dies, gaaura is defeated and Itachi shows up for the first time. In Japanese of course but the gift was very thoughtful and she added a nice message in jap on the back as well.

Here are some of the sights in akihabara. Nice enough place with lots of shops and arcades. Went into a few of both but didn’t spend any money. 



 That’s everything I did today. 

Tomorrow I am doing a wagashi lesson with Mr. Chukara Mizukami. Japanese sweet tea in the afternoon, morning will be studio ghibli museum but I have done that before so not much to say for that. 

Thanks for checking out my blog, hope it has been enjoyable and interesting to read so far. 

Edit 18/04/15: Made some corrections that I spotted just now. Bloody IPad auto correct. 

Oliver Simpson


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