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Tiger Mask Manga/Anime Inspires 7th, 8th Donor (Updated)

posted on 2011-01-09 13:27 EST by Egan Loo
More backpacks, Gundam models, Idolm@ster figures, 9th possible donor on Sunday

On Sunday, children's centers in three different Japanese prefectures — thousands of kilometers apart — received more school backpacks, models, and toys from people inspired by the manga/anime character Tiger Mask.

A mysterious donor had left 10 30,000-yen (US$360) backpacks at a child guidance center in Gunma Prefecture on Christmas morning. The attached letter was signed "Naoto Date" — the alter ego of Tiger Mask, a manga/anime pro wrestler who fights for children in an orphanage. That donation has inspired similar acts of goodwill throughout Japan, including an orphanage in Gifu on Saturday.

Atsugi, Kanagawa

A female staff member arrived to work at the Atsugi Child Guidance Center in Kanagawa Prefecture and discovered two red bags in front of the parking lot at about 8:20 a.m. on Sunday. An attached, typed letter read, "I'm sorry these aren't backpacks. Naoto Date."

Inside the bags were 22 new toys and models, including 11 SD Gundam models, two Fraulein Revoltech figures (The IDOLM@STER game's 006 Mami Futami, 007FS Ami Futami) from Kaiyodo, a Hot Wheels car, a Rubik's Cube, and two plush toys. The center's staff is looking into distributing the donations to orphanages and temporary shelters.

Nagasaki, Nagasaki

At about 9:40 a.m. that same morning, a female staff member of the Nagasaki Handicapped Children and Women's Support Center saw an elderly woman near several gift-wrapped boxes in the front lobby. When the staff member called out to the elderly woman, she left without a word.

Inside the boxes were seven new red and pink backpacks. Attached to the boxes was a paper that simply said, "A donation by the Nagasaki Naoto Date." The center is considering giving the backpacks to children entering elementary school this year.

Nanjō, Okinawa

Also on Sunday, the Shimazoe no Oka orphanage in Nanjō City on Okinawa Island received two more backpacks to complement the three it already received from a motorcycle-riding "Naoto Date" two days earlier.

On Friday, a staff member fielding phone calls was asked how many incoming first-graders were in the orphanage. The staff member mistakenly answered, "Three." At about 7:20 p.m. that evening, a helmeted man left three backpacks under the name "Naoto Date" and sped off on his motorcycle. However, the orphanage actually had five incoming first-graders, and the staff began telling phone callers the correct number on Saturday. The two new backpacks appeared at the orphanage on Sunday.

The head of the orphanage speculated out loud that the new backpacks may have come from a different donor. The staff member who fielded phone calls on Friday apologized for miscommunication and noted that the entire staff is relieved that it all worked out in the end.

A Map of Tiger Mask-Inspired Donations

Donations inspired by "Naoto Date" have now appeared in the prefectures of Gunma, Kanagawa (twice), Nagano, Shizuoka, Okinawa (possibly twice), Gifu, and Nagasaki.


Sources: Sankei News, Sports Nippon, Asahi, NHK News, Kanaloco, Yomiuri Shimbun, Okinawa Times

Images © Ikki Kajiwara, Naoki Tsuji/Kodansha, Toei Animation

Update: Written next to "Naoto Date" in the Nagasaki letter was the word "hibakusha." "Hibakusha" is the Japanese term for atomic bomb survivors; Nagasaki was the site of the second atomic bombing in Japan at the end of World War II.


This article has a follow-up: Tiger Mask Donors Strike Again in 8 More Cities (2011-01-10 21:15)
follow-up of Manga/Anime's Tiger Mask Inspires 4 More Gift-Givers (Updated)
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