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Gegege's Mizuki Designs Yōkai Totem Pole for Hometown

posted on 2011-07-29 23:30 EDT by Jennifer Sherman
Sakaiminato seeks sponsors for the newest installment in "Mizuki Shigeru Road"

Shigeru Mizuki, creator of the Gegege no Kitarō manga and anime, is working with Mizuki Production to design a yōkai (Japanese ghost/monster) totem pole to be added to "Shigeru Mizuki Road" in his hometown this October. The totem pole will be erected in front of the Japan Railways train station in Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture at the beginning of the Gegege no Kitarō-themed street. The Japanese cedar log chosen for the project will measure four meters (about 13 feet) tall and 40 centimeters (16 inches) in diameter, and it will feature 10 yōkai. The carved and colored Gegege no Kitarō characters will include Kitarō and Neko Musume.

The totem pole will cost about 2,000,000 yen (US$26,000) to construct, and it will be funded by contributions from throughout Japan. The Sakaiminato City Sightseeing Association is calling for 40 sponsors of 50,000 yen (about US$650) each, whose names will be carved into the granite at the base of the yōkai totem pole. The Association began accepting sponsor applications on July 14.

Mizuki Shigeru already includes 139 bronze statues and 29 streetlights of Mizuki's characters amongst other Gegege no Kitarō decorations and attractions. Maintenance of the sightseeing attractions in Mizuki's hometown is funded by a collaboration of private groups. Sakaiminato has recently enjoyed a boom in tourism spurred by last year's GeGeGe no Nyōbō television drama, based on the life of Mizuki's wife. In the last year, 3,720,000 tourists visited "Mizuki Shigeru Road."

Sources: Nikkei, Sponichi Annex

Image © Sakaiminato Sightseeing Association 2011


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