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Media & Entertainment

NFTs turn Japan's manga and anime into genuine art

Original illustrations from 'One Piece' reborn as high-end collectors' items

"One Piece" publisher Shueisha is selling prints from the manga series for around 500,000 yen. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi) ONE PIECE (c) 2021, Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha Inc. All rights reserved.

TOKYO -- Blockchain technology is lending new commercial value to Japanese manga and anime culture, turning illustrations into genuine artworks, raising money for artists and fostering the growth of the market and related businesses.

The recent rise of NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, is helping to verify the provenance and authenticity of digital art, something that was previously difficult because digital works are easily copied. New companies are springing up to build platforms and assure buyers that the pieces they buy are genuine and can be tracked securely.

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