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Kannagi Director, Fans Aid Quake Victims in Model Town

posted on by Egan Loo
Yutaka Yamamoto to volunteer at event; itasha cars ferry supplies to town damaged by tsunami

After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) seriously damaged the town of Shichigahama on March 11, the director of the Kannagi anime is joining anime fans and itasha (decorated car) owners in coming to the region to offer relief. Shichigahama is the hometown of Kannagi manga creator Eri Takenashi, and the local Hanabushi shrine inspired the backdrop seen in the first episode of the anime.

Director Yutaka Yamamoto (Kannagi, Fractale) will be a guest at a Shichigahama reconstruction event on May 15, and "Yamakan" will take part in the distribution of food relief supplies. The reconstruction event replaces an outdoors bazaar event that was previously planned for May 29; with the new event, the planners hope to encourage more visitors and to raise the spirits of the local citizens. The first 1,000 people at the new event will receive potatoes from the northern island of Hokkaido and other presents.

Fans had already been making almost monthly "pilgrimages" to the town since the anime aired in 2009. After the earthquake and tsunami, they are now ferrying supplies to the stricken area, including a group of itasha (decorated cars) owners. The fans are also helping in the cleanup around the Hanabushi shrine.

According to Takenashi, nothing remains in the area close to the shore except for mountains of rubble after the earthquake sent tsunami waves more than 10 meters (about 33 feet) high towards the town. As of Monday, 65 were confirmed killed (including four whose identities were still unknown) in the town, and 11 people were still missing.

The Mainichi Shimbun paper's Mantan Web site posted several photographs from the town and shrine:

  • some of the earthquake damage at the shrine
  • a Hatsune Miku figure cheering on the Tohoku (northeastern) region of Japan and Shichigahama
  • one of the boats on top of buildings that have come to symbolize the disaster
  • a map of the areas in the town that the tsunami struck (highlighted in blue)
  • senbazuru (a traditional way to ask for a wish via a thousand origami cranes)
  • the itasha vehicles loaded with supplies
  • fans help put a toppled lantern in its proper place at the shrine

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web (link 2, link 3)

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