Shueisha Starts Global Sales of Manga Artwork with Startbahn’s Cert.


Press Release

Startbahn’s Cert. blockchain certificates will be issued for manga artwork from titles including "ONE PIECE" and "The Rose of Versailles.” Information on the artist, publisher, and provenance of the work will be permanently recorded on the blockchain.

Startbahn, Inc. (Head office: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter Startbahn) will partner with Shueisha inc. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter Shueisha) in connection with "SHUEISHA MANGA-ART HERITAGE (SMAH)," its global EC sales business of manga artwork by issuing Cert. on its blockchain. By recording details about the manga artwork on the blockchain, Certs. will help to sustain and support the value of manga artwork.

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Shueisha launched SMAH because it believes that manga is a significant artistic and cultural form. Shueisha began utilizing the digital archives of their original manga drawings they have kept since 2008. SMAH is a new initiative to acknowledge the artists who have created these works, and to give these works sustained value.

At the time of the site launch, works from three artists will be available for sale: Eiichiro Oda (ONE PIECE), Riyoko Ikeda (The Rose of Versailles), and Shin-ichi Sakamoto (Innocent and Innocent Rouge). The works will be available in a wide range of printing methods, coloring, and sizes.

Startbahn offers "Startbahn Cert.," a blockchain certificate issuing service with IC tags for artworks. By using Cert., information related to the value of artworks and their provenance are recorded over time; further, once authenticated, the works’ authenticity will be secured permanently. Many art galleries, auction houses, and other entities have already implemented Startbahn Cert.

We are pleased to announce that Cert. will be issued for each sold manga artwork through SMAH. By permanently recording information of the artist and the publisher, as well as the provenance of the work even after secondary distribution, the value of the manga artwork will be supported.

■ Premium Quality Manga Artwork

In recent years, manga artworks are displayed in art galleries and museums in Japan and abroad more frequently. As one of the initiatives to pass on the value of manga artworks to the future, Shueisha launched SMAH.

Manga artists often use dye-based inks to draw original pictures of manga since they need to draw weekly or monthly even though these types of inks deteriorate quickly. Therefore, Shueisha began high-precision scanning of color originals in 2008 and digitally archived them to preserve the original drawings’ colors and textures.

SMAH will use these digital archives and light-resistant inks to express colors and details that ordinary commercial printing cannot reproduce. The prints will use 100% cotton paper, which is the standard in archival collections. The light-resistant inks and the cotton paper will convey the real power of the original drawings. The edition of each printed work is limited to 20 copies. This is an unprecedented quality of manga artwork expressed with the best printing technology and materials.

■ Startbahn Cert. Guarantees Value As Art

To guarantee the value of these works as art, it is critical to have a permanent record of their provenance and the authenticity of the work. Cert., a blockchain certificate provided by Startbahn, will be issued for each work to support this value.

Cert. will be attached on the certificate included in the package with the purchased work. By scanning the Cert. with a smartphone or other devices, the purchaser of the work can easily view basic information about the artist, the provenance, and any set of rules for the use and future distribution of the work.

Purchasers who purchase these works directly from SMAH, as well as those who purchase these works on the secondary market, can rely on the information about the works provided in the Certs. Through these initiatives, Shueisha can continue to support its manga artists.

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■ About Startbahn Cert.

Startbahn Cert. is a blockchain certificate issuance service that allows the management of information about artworks while ensuring their authenticity and reliability. Artwork owners can view such information, and entities involved in artwork distribution can issue and transfer certificates through a web interface. Startbahn Cert. is based on Startrail, a blockchain platform that manages the custody and circulation of artworks. On Startbahn Cert., it is as simple and easy to see the information recorded on Startrail as it would be on paper certificates.

▼ For more information on Startbahn Cert.:

■ About Startbahn, Inc.

Startbahn aims to realize a richer society by providing the technology needed by artists and people involved with art all over the world. We are developing Startbahn Cert., a service that issues blockchain certificates for artworks, and promoting the development of Startrail, a blockchain infrastructure that is the basis for Startbahn Cert.

▼ For more information on Startbahn, Inc.:

For Inquiries About This Release

Startbahn, Inc.
Risa Mizuno

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