The Japanese art of manga has greatly risen in popularity in the past few decades. Its roots go back nearly 1,000 years but it is only recently that it has taken off globally. Manga is now as well known as sushi, geisha and Mt Fuji. Manga is now so popular outside Japan that an exhibition of manga was the most popular show at the British Museum in 2019. It attracted more visitors than a show on the painter Rembrandt. The exhibition was the largest display of manga material ever put together outside Japan. Around 1,920 people paid to see it every day.
The exhibition showed the 900-year history of manga. It included the earliest forms by master painters to sketches of today's popular anime and game characters such as Pokemon. The show included 70 manga series, including Osamu Tezuka's seminal work "Astro Boy". The British Museum said: "Manga is the modern graphic art of storytelling first perfected in Japan and is now loved all over the world. Building on Japan's centuries-old tradition, the best manga have the visual power to excite us and draw us into their world, with inventive storylines that engage our emotions."