By Joyce Waybright
Special to GUIDON
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and there will be activities on post to celebrate the varied cultures that have become part of America as well as our Army family.
The Bruce C. Clarke Library will be displaying its many multicultural books, audio-books, music CDs and DVDs, to include fiction titles, cookbooks, history materials, language study, social and country information.
We can also provide work and home access to a number of Internet research databases, such as Culture Grams and World and U.S. History Resource Centers, that will enhance knowledge of Asian-Pacific countries and cultures.
The library also provides electronic reference books that you can access at any time in the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Titles include such great sources as “Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America” and “Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures.”
The Asian-Pacific region is also a large geographical area with enormous ethnic and religious diversity. Not unified in any broad sense, it consists of a number of distinct sub regions, which are themselves quite diverse, such as Central Asia, the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania/Pacific Islands and includes countries from Afghanistan to Kuwait to Mauritius to Samoa to Vietnam.
The MWR Library’s Overdrive collection has hundreds of digital travel guides, many on Asian-Pacific cities and countries.
The library also has print books, audio books and DVDs to help learn a language. Also available are several online programs for language learning such as “Rosetta Stone,” “Mango,” and “Transparent Language.”
Japanese comics and cartoons have captured the hearts and imaginations of a worldwide audience.
The Clarke Library has a large collection of manga and anime books and media.
Manga is the Japanese term for comics. Anime refers to animation originating in Japan. Manga and anime were mainstays in Japanese pop culture long before the art form made its way West.
The term manga dates to the late 18th century in Japan, but this type of comics didn’t begin to gain in popularity in the United States until the 1960s, when the popular Japanese anime series “Astro Boy” was imported to the U.S.
In English-speaking countries, manga is now a generic term for all graphic novels and comic books originally published in Japan.
Manga is read either in serialized comic books, monthly magazines, or graphic novels.
Modern manga developed amid an explosion of artistic creativity during the U.S. occupation of Japan, from 1945 to 1952.
During the occupation, U.S. troops introduced American comics and cartoons, such as Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and Bambi to Japan, inspiring Japanese artists to develop their own style of comics. Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, known as the God of Manga and Godfather of Anime, invented the distinctive large eyes prominent in both manga and anime.
His manga series, “Astro Boy,” went on to become the first Japanese television series to embody the aesthetic that became known worldwide as anime.
(Editor’s note: Waybright is the Bruce C. Clarke Library’s chief of community services.)