Mangaka - The Occupation

imgThe 2005 Wealthiest People Ranking has been released. One of the occupations in the list was "mangaka," which appeared on the "Megawealth index." Certainly, being a mangaka must result in high pays and offer a luxurious life that people in a salary system long for. So how exactly does one spend their luxurious life?

A local magazine, "No!", from the Fukuoka area took a look at the real life of a mangaka. The special issue, "The Various Occupations," interviewed Ms. Yoshiko Chijiwa (who is currently active in Monthly "Dessert"). When asked about her annual income, she replied, "I cannot possibly survive with only manga (cry)". Ehhhh!? What does that mean!?

"Without a serialization, my income is irregular. I manage my budget by doing part-time lecturing at a specialty college for manga," says Yoshiko Chijiwa.

So without a serialization, a mangaka's job is unstable, in which case the income must be unstable without a regular manuscript fee. It is difficult for a mangaka if his or her series will not be released as tankobon, which makes it hard to win the loyalty of a magazine. Relying only on the manuscript fee for a living is a bit too much.

Then how much is the manuscript fee in comparison to the market? I tried find the answer from a manga magazine editor.

"I think it varies from magazine to magazine, for example, a monthly magazine would be around 10,000 yen per page. So if one draws 25 pages in a month, then the manuscript fee for that month is roughly around 250,000 yen," says an editor from an anonymous manga magazine.

250,000 yen is the "starting salary + bonus of a new employee"? On top of it being irregular, that much money is really harsh on the artists. In any case, mangaka has it tough, huh?

"I fall to the 'deadline hell' every time (laugh). My sleep decreases dramatically five days before the deadline, it's crazy.... Then, there's the problem of coming up with ideas. When I can't get inspired, I even pray to God, and turn to my editor when I'm in trouble! Let's think of an idea together," says Yoshiko Chijiwa.

After hearing that, being a mangaka really involves extraordinary labor; however, Ms. Chijiwa finally told me this: "For me, being a mangaka is 'a dream come true.' What doesn't happen in reality is granted to me in the manga. It is the best job that allows you let your own imagination exlode!"

On the other side of labor, it seems that for a mangaka, extraordinary joy awaits.

Translated by Floating_Sakura

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woah... But still there are

woah... But still there are worse jobs you could be doing for less money

yeah... like scanlation....

yeah... like scanlation.... ^_^


LOL~ EXACTLY like scanlation! You have to love it, to be doing it. ^_^


So how much is 250,000 yen?? For some reason, i have a feeling that it's actually pretty low.........................

Nevermind. O.O

I just found out that 250,000 yen is only 2.15 US DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my God!! That is so not fair!!!!!! AHHH!!!! All those deadlines, creativity and waste of energy and time along with inspiration just for a mere $2.15!?!? EEk.

Something tells me that it's almost impossible to become a mangaka. = =;;

I looked it up and 250,000

I looked it up and 250,000 yen is around $2145.60

I looked it up too, but I

I looked it up too, but I got $2614.

How do you become a

How do you become a mangaka??????????

I don't care how much they

I don't care how much they get paid. I want to just want to enjoy what I love doing! ^_^


my dream is also to become a mangaka and idont care how much i get paid as long asi have my fans XD

When figuring out yen to

When figuring out yen to dollars, you always take out the last two zeros, this will more or less tell you how much money you're getting. For example 1,000 yen is more or less 10 dollars, 700,000yen is 7,000 dollars, 1,500,000 yen is 150,000 dollars, etc...

By the way, if you want to be a mangaka you can! I'll never give up on my dream, and I actually already met with editors in Tokyo. You just need to learn fluent Japanese lol. I've been taking only 5 years of Japanese, so I think I need a bit more studying :P

Ha! Freaking awesome XD

I'm currently studying Japanese right now and it's been two years since I've started and next year... will be the advanced course! 8D That's amazing that you've actually met with editors in Tokyo! I hope it goes well!? =O I am an aspiring manga-ka and I know the downsides and upsides of becoming one but that's okay with me XD

Any tips? 8D

After highschool, I might take an extra year of Japanese so I can pass that credit test in Japan D< and get my portfolio all ready 83


i never knew a mangaka didnt get paid enough money to meet ends meet. But i wont give up! Maybe a mangaka can have a real job like a doctor or teacher or something and do manga work part time. Thats what i would want to do.


Awww, man. It looks really...tough! O.o

But I won't give up. This is actually been inspiring, reading the other replies with people saying they won't give up just because the pay can be crappy.

But I guess if you enjoy it, it makes you want to work and go for it!

I guess it'd be easier working as a pair though, sorta like CLAMP.


Pah, I'll just live on ramen! >D


a pair?as in one person

a pair?as in one person draws and the other comes up with plots?

well finding someone you can

well finding someone you can work with is hard to find he/she must be very dedicated too like you >...< i tried to umm recruit(dont know if this is the word) one of my friend to do manga with me she's very good in drawing but she said that she doesn't like paperworks and deadlines and the same routine of drawing n deadline etc.

well even though finding someone with the same passion is hard I can still do it alone(although it's sad..)well let time find them..
..if this is the job we want so we gottta try our best riight!

Sounds harsh!

That really sounds a bit harsh :(
Anyways im currently living in Tokyo and looking for some manga-ka??s.
So if someone knows any manga-ka??s that want to make some sketches and perhaps get a job or at least some money e-mail me :)

see above...

Me too I don't care how much

Me too I don't care how much i get paid @_%

I ??? to draw...i'm only 14,

I ??? to draw...i'm only 14, but i already got accepted to an art instruction school, but i didn't have enough money... i hope to god i can learn fluent japanese... i'll never give up!!!

well i want to become a

well i want to become a mangaka but, i'd prefer to work as a team with some people than work alone. i want to move to japan aswell, so if anyone wants to join me or at least check out my work my email address is Please some one get back to me

i dont mind what kind of

i dont mind what kind of manga or stuff u like as long as you can draw and you have the drive to do it

I want to be a mangaka too!

I really want to become a mangaka but I can write better stories than I can draw.

Than you can be the one

Than you can be the one writing the story line while your partner draws the pictures to match.

Two jobs?

im still practicing drawing better and im still very young. i know being a mangaka doesnt pay much, but would i be able to get another job on the side and not be too over worked? if you know plz help me out :)


I've been studying up on being a manga-ka feverishly recently! It's unnerving to see all the competition here hoping to make it, but I'll try anyway, non-stop.
But I wonder though, does it really make a difference to produce manga in Japan than America? (good luck to all those striving for that!)


Well I figured I wouldn't get paid much. I'm gonna be a doctor and do Manga as a part time job, but I'm going to put as much effort as it takes to be a doctor ^ ^ Instead of thinking about the payment, think about how you have to get recognized. The famous Mangakas should get more money than this anyway, so work towards that

BUY MY MANGA SOME DAY... If the whole thing works out :D