Koshien is a baseball stadium situated in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Pref, and is holy ground for all Japan’s high school baseball players. Schools compete twice annually at regional preliminary games for the privilege to play at this hallowed stadium. The word has been co-opted by Kochi for the Manga Koshien – which is a competition for high school cartoonists. Teams compete for the national manga championship once a year.
The competition started in 1988 in Kochi, which is home to many famous manga artists. Teams from across Japan submit a work to the preliminary round of the Manga Koshien. Each team consists of 3-5 students from one school. Their submitted manga must be based on a theme set by the committee. Only 35 schools are selected to continue to the second round, which is held in Kochi.
These 35 schools must complete a work within 5½ hours based on another set theme. After judging, 20 schools progress to the final stage on the following day.
The losing 15 schools participate in a consolation round where each school must complete a supplementary work by midnight. The next morning 5 schools are selected to regain admission to the final stage.
In the final round, 25 schools compete for the national championship, producing another manga upon a set theme within 5½ hours.
This year the competition will be held between August 6 and 7 in Kochi, mainly at the Kochi City Bunka Plaza “Culport”. HP: http://manga-koshien.net/ (Japanese only)
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