Manga Talk Series

Dr. Kae Hashimoto Reed

Photo of Dr. Hashimoto, taken by Avery Harrah

Dr. Kae Hashimoto Reed, visiting lecturer of Japanese and visiting lecturer of music, hosted the first talk in her “Manga Talk Series with Dr. Hashimoto” on Oct. 21

As a music faculty member, Hashimoto has taught at the summer band camp where she saw high school students wearing anime shirts. This sparked conversations about the characters and how Hashimoto was from Japan herself. 

“Manga is from Japan so I can talk about my country, my culture, and my history,” Hashimoto said. “A lot of students know about Manga and the anime they watch. But they don’t know what’s behind, what’s the background, history or culture, or why this person speaks this way, or why this person acts that way.”

Hashimoto wants to help students understand the background of the Manga they read and the anime they watch. 

The beginnings of Manga started 1,000 years ago, Hashimoto said, with scroll drawings of animals acting like people. Western culture came to Japan and the drawings changed, too. 

“Knowing about different people, from a different area, different culture and different background,” Hashimoto said, is why students who maybe don’t read Manga should listen to the talk. 

“The world is amazingly big like that. It’s easy to be stuck in one place where everybody has the same ideas, but people like me from somewhere else sometimes feel like we’re different,” Hashimoto said. “If we know each other then we are both human, so we can be more friendly to each other.”

She said that Manga has been a great way to tell people about Japan because it is well known. Because Hashimoto wants to teach about Japanese culture through something that students already know, she has been using it as a tool for teaching her students over the years. 

Hashimoto said she hopes that speaking about Manga will encourage those who maybe are not vocal about their liking of the Japanese comic book to feel more confident in their likes.

“People should like whatever he or she likes, so I try to be outspoken with that,” Hashimoto said. “Students who like or want to talk, my office door is always open, so if they can stop by. I don’t care who he is, who she is, how old they are, I have books here. I can handle geeky talk, so if they want to come to talk to me, they are always welcome to do that. They speak Japanese, they speak English, it doesn’t matter to me.”

She hopes that after her talks, students will have learned something new. 

Hashimoto will have several talks throughout the rest of the school year. Each one will discuss a specific Manga book. 

Her next talk in the series will be on Nov. 15 in RPL 300A at 7 p.m.