Akahon: (literally 'red books'); cheap manga produced by minor publishers in the immediate postwar period. Akahon were sold in magazine stalls rather than regular bookstores.

Burakumin: before 1868, groups of people officially known as eta ('full of filth') and hinin ('non-humans') suffered systematic government-sponsored discrimination. They were confined to certain trades such as butchers and tanners, and lived in designated slum areas. When Japan modernized, they become known by the euphemistic term burakumin, and state persecution ceased. However, burakumin face weakening but still significant social discrimination to this day. Burakumin often feature in socially-concerned manga.

Edo: The former name of Tokyo (until 1868).

Fleshbomb: (nikudan); Udagawa Takeo gave this name to a genre of gekiga featuring extremely heavily muscled male characters.

Gekiga: (literally 'drama comics'); a hardboiled manga genre concentrating on stories featuring crime and violence. Gekiga originated in a loosely-knit circle of kashihon artists. Artistically, gekiga can be contrasted with the less experimental and densely-worked manga style of Tezuka Osamu and artists under his influence. Geographically, gekiga centered on Osaka, as opposed to the mainstream manga scene centered in Tokyo.

Kami shibai: (literally, 'paper drama'); a form of storytelling involving manga-style pictures displayed from the back of a traveling peddler's cart. This was a popular form of entertainment in the immediate post-war period. Many artists in the gekiga genre and manga generally started their careers drawing kami shibai pictures.

Kashihon: (literally 'rental books'); cheap manga books produced for renting out at commercial lending libraries. The format was a bit larger than akahon.

Moe: an amorphous yet defining sensibility in Japanese otaku culture, moe values cuteness, innocence and quirkiness in manga and anime characters. Though moe is distinct from the frankly pedophiliac Lolicon sensibility, some observers see a degree of overlap between the two.

Shogun: the military ruler of Japan before 1868.

Shogunate: the shogun's government, especially the regime of the Tokugawa family (1600-1868)