The Main Piece
Manga has become an extremely important part in Japanese culture, creating a huge fan base which people of all ages, races, and genders enjoy. Certain mangas have become so rare that they are collectible and highly valued. Although the Naruto manga Sara’s family holds is not exactly “worth a million dollars,” it holds great value to her father. Being a fan of the manga since childhood, her grandfather greatly looked up to the manga’s protagonist. Since this was the first manga that he ever bought, it reminded him of his youth, “a time where he could just leave the real world and go off on his own and imagine anything he wanted.” He later passed it on to Sara’s father who intends on passing it down to his son.
My informant is my roommate, Sarah Kwan. She is an undergraduate at USC and is considerably close with both her father and her grandfather. Her grandfather would often tell her stories of his past, one of them of him buying his first manga. He was so excited to have a legitimate manga, not any nock off American comic book, but the “real thing.” She says “I can still remember him telling me about it because he would tell me the story one hundred times. He’s so proud of it, he swears that it’s worth at least a couple of hundred dollars.” It is because of this belief that her father plans on passing it down to his son, that it holds value and that he can be of some use to him if he ever needs the money in the future. However, her grandfather passed it down to her father in hopes that her father would have the same appreciation for it that he did.
Sarah told me this story as we were in our room together watching television and a Naruto commercial came on. She was reminded of her grandfather and father and felt the need to share her story with me.
I felt that it was interesting to hear that the two generations of Kwan’s had different reasons for passing down the Naruto manga. It reveals that different generations have different motives for preserving certain folk object, which is not necessarily an idea to be looked down upon, simply that the way generations think is changing. Also, it is important to note that when the subject of Naruto is brought up, Sarah thinks of her grandfather and father. Thus, revealing the impact a folk object can have on not just its owners, but those that have seen the passage as well.
The Main Piece