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Manhwa is the Korean word for comics. Outside of Korea, manhwa is used to refer to comics from Korea, similarly to the terms manga and manhua being used to refer to comics from Japan and China respectively.
Manhwa can be traced back to the early 1900's when the earliest Korean comics were made. The industry suffered a decline during 1910-1945 due to Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula. The Japanese imposed harsh censorship laws and propaganda material. It wasn't until Korea became independent that manhwa started flourish and come into its own.
Korean manhwa have had a hard time penetrating markets globally due to people not knowing that Korea has a comic industry and some manhwa being labeled as Japanese manga in order to sell well. It's only recently that manhwa have begun to be popular thank in part to webtoons. Now, there are more fans online reading manhwa and discussing them on online forums like Reddit with r/manhwa.
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