Saitama Prefecture Festival Sells Lucky Star T-Shirts

posted on by Gia Manry
Lucky Star shrine city merged with larger town in March

News site Comic Natalie reported that the Kuki City Hajisai Festival in the Saitama Prefecture will be selling t-shirts featuring the characters of Kagami Yoshimizu's manga Lucky Star on September 5. This past March, Jiji Press reported that Kuki City merged with Washimiya City, home of the Washinomiya Shrine. The shrine was used as the basis for a location in the 2007 anime adaptation of Lucky Star by Kyoto Animation and has become a popular destination for anime fans, who make "pilgrimages" to the shrine.

The t-shirt features Lucky Star characters Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi, Konata Izumi, Miyuki Takara, Patricia Martin, and Hiyori Tamura, as drawn by Yoshimizu himself. The characters are all dressed in happi (festival coats) and other festival attire, and they also carry instruments and lanterns.

Over 40,000 fans visited the shrine during the New Year's holidays of 2008; New Years 2009 tallied 420,000 visitors and 2010 saw 450,000 around the New Year's time frame. In November of 2009, the family of Lucky Star protagonist Konata Izumi was registered, making the Izumi clan honorary residents of the nearby city of Satte. The anime's overall impact on Washimiya exceeded one billion yen (approximately US$11.8 million) by January of 2010.

Washimiya City and now Kuki City have made several efforts to encourage anime fan tourism, including a special event with the cast of the anime, the publication of the Lucky Star manga strips in the local newspaper, and discussions of changing the local school's uniform to match the ones used in the anime. Last year, the Hajisai Festival featured a mikoshi (portable shrine) decorated with Lucky Star characters.

Image © Kagami Yoshimizu / Kadokawa Shoten

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