Given its global appeal, manga is an ideal vehicle for raising public awareness about intellectual property (IP) and why it is important to respect IP rights.
During the summer of 2010, we organized the "Real Manga" competition. The competition invited Japanese manga artists to create an original work highlighting the health and safety risks associated with purchasing counterfeit products.
The competition was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and supported by Kadokawa Shoten Publishing. Entrants were required to submit original artwork, a storyline and characters to explain the health and safety risks related to counterfeit products. Submissions were received from across the country.
After a rigorous selection process involving industry experts, Ms. Emiko Iwasaki’s "Honmono – the Secret that Changes your Life" manga was selected as the winning entry. Ms. Iwasaki won a contract worth ¥1,200,000 (approximately US$15,000 at the time) and the chance to work with a professional manga editor to develop her entry into a full-length manga.
The two other finalists in the Competition were Ms. Ayako Okubo with her "True?!" manga and Ms. Minako Takahashi with her "Is that real?" manga.
Ms. Iwasaki drew a fantastic manga [...] I hope that by reading it, more people will have a better understanding of the dangers of purchasing fake goods and realize that they can make a difference and help reduce the harm these goods cause.Mr. Ken-Ichiro Natsume, formerly of the Japan Patent Office