During both the Edo and contemporary periods, people have had more time for leisure activities, such as playing games and reading books.
In times of peace, with a larger middle class and a stabilized economy, people have more leisure time, and artists and designers are inspired to produce new forms of entertainment.
As leisure time increased, Japanese artists and craftspeople began updating traditional forms of entertainment.
Different types of games were made for all classes throughout the country, and rental book stores became a popular way for people to borrow books. Many print and book stores were established in cities such as Edo (Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto. Readers and collectors often waited impatiently for the latest releases.
Today, manga (comic books), anime (animated films) and electronic games are enjoyed throughout Japan and around the world.
After the Second World War, Japanese artists combined traditional manga with American-style comics and cartoons to create a distinctive new style. In recent years, stories have evolved into electronic games that have also become very popular.