Tottori Prefecture Pays Tribute to Homegrown Manga Greats Aoyama, Mizuki, Taniguchi

Tottori’s prefectural government has announced they will hold events in Tokyo leading up to its  International Manga Expo later this summer.

Tottori on the west coast of Japan is well known as the hometown for famous Japanese manga artists such as Shigeru Mizuki (Gegege no Kitaro), Gosho Aoyama (Detective Conan), and Jiro Taniguchi (Distant Neighborhood).

First. the prefecture will host a manga event in Tokyo’s Akihabara “Electric Town” district on July 1, officials said. The Tottori prefectural government lsat year came up with a regional promotional program called “Manga Kingdom Tottori” to capitalize on the prefecture’s ties to the roots of manga and anime. The prefectural government then concluded an agreement with the ATPA to hold an event in Akihabara.

The Akihabara promotion will be followed by Manga Kingdom Tottori August through November 2012. Then, in November, it will host the International Comic Artist Conference to bring together comic artists from overseas.

Sakaiminato City, Tottori Pref., shot to fame after it served as a location for the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) drama series “Gegege no Nyobo” (The Wife of Gegege) that aired in 2010. The story follows the lives of manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, the creator of the “Gegege no Kitaro” horror manga series, and his wife.

The birthplace of Mizuki, the city also boasts the Mizuki Shigeru Road. More than 130 bronze statues of “yokai” ghouls and hobgoblins from the manga line city streets.

At least 3 million visitors are attracted to the sightseeing spot every year.

Meanwhile, the “Conan Street” was completed in 1999 in Hokuei, the hometown of “Detective Conan” manga series author Gosho Aoyama. Bronze statues of the manga characters are placed along the streets. The town office also opened the Gosho Aoyama Manga Museum, in which the artist’s illustrations from his childhood diaries are on display. His studio was also reproduced in the museum.

Jiro Taniguchi is also a world-famous manga artist from the prefecture. He has been critically acclaimed in Europe for his elaborate drawings and was named a chevalier (knight) of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Taniguchi has earned the nickname of “Yasujiro Ozu” in the manga industry.

Although the artist was born in the prefectural capital, his “A Distant Neighborhood” is set in the city of Kurayoshi, which retains beautiful rows of traditional white walls and storehouses. [The Asahi Shimbun ~ Tottori Celebrates Manga Heritage ~ Manga Kingdom Tottori]






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