Markup Schemes for Manga and Digital Reformatting Systems

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Kazushi Ohya

    Tsurumi University

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1 Introduction
n this paper, we will present two schemes, one for
encoding Manga and one for the collation of graphic
resources, both of which are used in reformatting systems.
The schemes and reformatting systems will provide
multiple merits for carving out a new research field
for digital humanities.
2 New Field Opened Up by Manga
Manga, or a graphic novel originating in Japan is gradually
becoming known as new reading art, or a kind of literature
even outside of Japan. Manga contains multiple
graphic units on a surface unit(like a page) and sometimes
texts are written in the background, which we call
depicted letters. Each frame, which is a unit of an image,
is sometimes related to another frame using a caption.
And, each balloon can be dominated by multiple frames
and possibly other balloons. It means that we have to
prepare a scheme to handle graphic units with structures
which are not the same as the text structure. To digitize
Manga in markup languages requires more fine encoding
schemes for the relationship between image and text data
rather than those for simply illustrated texts, like referring
directly a corresponding image file. Manga could
be a new target for encoding in markup languages, and
a good test bed for checking adaptability of reference
schemes like TEI[1].
Manga has graphic expressions which help us envisage
situations the story represents, which means that translations
of Manga will not be so different from language
to language, compared to translations of other types
of literature like novels. Then, we can expect that the
multi-lingual corpora based on Manga will be semantically
more stable. The corpora would be good resources
of analysis for natural language processing especially for
machine translations.
Manga has the potential also for good corpora of onomatopoeia,
or ways to imitate phenomena with letters,
which can be regarded as a type of mimicry using phonetic
values of letters/characters. Onomatopoeia have
been neglected as academic research targets for a long
time since its presence in linguistics or semiotics has
been denied. However, in our view, onomatopoeia is
a full-fledged domain of linguistics as well as nouns,
sentences, and discourse units, or at least should be a
domain for lexical items in multi-lingual dictionaries.
Manga will provide a good resource for making corpora
of onomatopoeia.
List 1
List 2
3 Schemes for Text and Images of Manga
As a preliminary experiment, we had encoded two titles
of Manga, Nodame Cantabile and Crayon Shinchan, following
the scheme of a drama module for performance
text in TEI P5, and confirmed that the scheme can also be
used as a base scheme for Manga. This could mean that
Manga can be treated as a kind of “continuities” which
are used as scripts in film productions, sometimes called
storyboards. However, we also confirmed that we should
revise the scheme to describe the connections between
frames, balloons, and texts. For example, it is impossible
to encode all of the correlation of abstract units and images,
like a section and multiple page images, in a text
data structure,
4 Reformatting Systems
The Library of Congress in the US started a reformatting
program, whose aim is mainly the preservation of the appearance
of physical books or documents[11]. We plan to make reformatting systems, but the objective is different
from L.C.’s. Our system will be designed for converting
physical forms into digital forms, and then back to physical
formats like: books to scrolls, scrolls to books, books
to books, and so on. The idea comes from discovery and
observation as follows. The extant Ouma Jirushis, the
early color-printed publications in Japan, are all in scroll
formats, except for one in Tsurumi University, which is
in a set of folios in which holes for binding remain. All
the materials contain the number of leaves and volumes,
printed in the center of each folio. It would mean that
the Ouma Jirushi was originally binded in or printed for
a book form, but later was re-formed into a scroll format.
This kind of shift in formats can now be observed in
printed music. Players sometimes reform a sheet or book
of music to a long sheet or scroll of music for making
easy to follow notes without turning over any pages or
sheets. For narratives which contain time-sensitive content,
scrolls would be more suitable than books. A format
style would not have developed from being a primitive
one to being an advanced one in history. Digitally reformatting
systems will provide opportunities to verify the
propositions and re-examine which formats are the most
suitable for the content that existing materials have.
Figure 2
5 Reformatting Manga from Recto First to
Verso First Reading Style
According to a news story in the Yomiuri Shimbun[13],
French translation version of Pink, which is a title of
Japanese Manga, was published with two formats; one
for reading from left to right pages, which is an ordinary
way to Western culture, and one for reading from right to
left pages, which is an authentic Manga style. The latter
is easy to make a translated version, however the sales
have not been good as compared to the former. This kind
of trials has also been carried out in US[12]. Making a
verso first reading style version costs publishers much
time and money for re-fabrication. For example, let’s
compare an original format in Fig.1 to a recto-first format
in Fig.2.
Since there is no change in images, the directions of
frames and balloons are the same on both formats. However,
the directions of language reading is different from
them. Then, editors have tried to make recto-first formats
into verso-first formats for English versions. Fig.3 is a
verso-first format with two ways of changing: translational
and reflectional symmetry movements. The first
row in Fig.3 is a mirror image of originals. Each frame
on the second row in Fig.3 is results of translational symmetry
movement. Then, on the first row a balloon direction
is the same as a frame direction, but is not on the
second row. On the other hand, information pictured in
frames is kept on the second row instead. Which way is
adopted in editing translation versions depends on editors’
expertise. The aim of our system is to support the
re-formatting processes.
Fig.1 and Fig.2
6 Collation of Image Units
In order to make the reformatting system, first of all,
we have to lay down a scheme for collation of graphic
resources. The results from the scheme will be used as
data for analysis to find out heuristic rules for automatic
frame relocation, then for instructions in converting systems.
Making a scheme for collation of graphic units will
be a new challenging target. Now we are experimenting with descriptions to find ideal schemes for collation of
graphic units.
Fig.1 and Fig.3
Sample Code
For example, encapsulating balloon information into
frames in image structures looks to make easy to specify
types of movements in reformatting. However, it is still a
problem in order to make adequate results to what extent
we should encode instructions about image movements
in collation data on the assumption that image processors
can adjust fluctuating location information encoded in
XML data.
7 Conclusion
Now we are making markup texts of several titles of
Manga following the TEI scheme as much as we can,
and seeking a reference scheme for collation of image
unites in comparing a Japanese version with the two different
formats of English translation versions. We are
planning to alter the TEI scheme to match our requirements
especially making useful collation data for reformatting
8 References
[1]L.Burnard and S.Bauman eds. (2007) The TEI
Guidelines P5, TEI
[2]K.Ohya and S.Tutiya (1999) “Links between link
elements in compound data units” in Japanese, IPSJ SIG
Technical Report Vol.99. No.48., IPSJ
[3]K.Ohya (2006) “Markup problems: Syntactical analysis
and steps to their resolution” in Japanese, TEI Day
in Kyoto 2006 Report, Kyoto University
[4]K.Ohya (2008) “Management of links between link
elements to represent correlation on link structures” in
Japanese, IPSJ SIG Technical Report Vol.2008. No.100.,
[5]K.Yasuko et al. (2006) Witchblade Takeru Vol.1 in
Japanese, Akita Shoten
[6]K.Yasuko et al. (2007) Witchblade Takeru Manga
Vol.1, Bandai Entertainment.
[7]K.Yasuko et al. (2008) Witchblade Takeru Manga
Vol.1, Top Cow Productions
[8]Y.Usui (1992) Kureyon Shinchan Vol.1 in Japanese,
[9]Y.Usui (2002) Crayon Shinchan Vol.1, Comicsone
[10]Y.Usui (2008) Crayon Shinchan Vol.1, DC Comics
[11]The Library of Congress (2006) “Preservation
Digital Reformatting Program”, The Library of
[12](2006-11-21) “’Witchblade’ Manga in Two Formats”,
[13](2007-04-03), ”Page order makes an impact on
sales” in Japanese, Yomiuri Shimbun

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2009

Hosted at University of Maryland, College Park

College Park, Maryland, United States

June 20, 2009 - June 25, 2009

176 works by 303 authors indexed

Series: ADHO (4)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
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