4-Koma Manga Contest!

The Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco is pleased to announce its first 4-Koma Manga Contest! 4-Koma (read: yon koma) manga is a Japanese comic format consisting of 4 cells. The contest will be divided into two divisions, one for middle and high school students, and one for University Students and Adults. The contest submission deadline is Friday, May 25th, 2018.

The top works from each category, as selected by our judges, will receive a certificate of accomplishment from the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and a prize. The JICC will display selected works in its gallery beginning in June 2018.


  • Submissions must be original creations and not previously published. Please see details in the Contest Rules (Download here)
  • The theme is “Japan”, and submitted works must include at least one word in Japanese
  • It is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure that their submission does not infringe on any copyrighted material and does not plagiarize any other works


1. Middle and High School Student Division
2. College Student and Adult Division
* The primary objective of this contest is to introduce the Japanese 4-koma (4 cell) comic format and promote Japanese language and cultural education, and international cultural exchange through Manga. Therfore, an eligible contest participant must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident of the United States or have a valid U.S. visa from a country other than Japan.

Necessary Documents for Submission

Please carefully read the Contest Rules. Download the following documents and send with the Manga submission via post. Submission deadline is Friday, May 25th, 2018

Middle School and High School Student Division

College Student and Adult Division

Submit by Mail to:

Japan Information and Cultural Center
Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco
275 Battery Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94111

For further inquiries about this contest, please contact:
Mariko Takei, Cultural Affairs Coordinator
Email: mariko.takei@sr.mofa.go.jp

About 4-Koma Manga

“4-koma Manga” (four cell manga) is a comic strip format consists of four panels that are traditionally rectangles of equal dimensions and ordered top to bottom. 4-koma Manga appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications in Japan.

4-koma Manga tells a story in just 4-koma, following the traditional Japanese storytelling structure called “Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu”
  • First Panel (起 -Ki): provides a setting and sets the scene
  • Second Panel (承- Sho): builds up the story in the first panel
  • Third Panel (転- Ten): sets a development or twist of the story, climax of the story
  • Fourth Panel (結- Ketsu): brings the conclusion or punch line, usually a funny ending

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