Northern Japanese Town Offers March Comes in Like a Lion Goods
posted on by Eric Stimson
Early March seems like an appropriate time to roll out a merchandise campaign for March comes in like a lion, Chika Umino's manga about Rei, a talented if solitary player of shōgi (a chess-like game native to Japan). Rei hails from Tendō, a town in Yamagata Prefecture famous for making shōgi game pieces. To celebrate this connection, Tendō is offering its citizens, migrants elsewhere, or simply fans of March comes in like a lion a chance to support their hometown with goods linked to the manga.
The sales are handled through Furusato Choice, a website that lets Japanese citizens pay their taxes through credit as well as buy gifts from their hometowns (furusato). March comes in like a lion is represented by a cell phone strap and cleaner, a clear file, a paper fan, and a thank-you letter. 10,000 yen (about $88) or more must be donated to Tendō to receive these gifts (which come in a single package). Tendō's most popular gift so far seems to be personalized shōgi game piece straps, which have sold out.
Sadly for March fans, the gifts will be delivered in May "due to copyright issues." March comes in like a lion will be adapted into an anime and live-action film; the former is scheduled for a fall release. Japanese towns often raise revenue through sales of their specialty products; although these are usually food, some have been able to tap into an anime connection as well.