Saki Setting to Hold Summit for Anime Holy Sites

posted on by Eric Stimson
Ryoko Shiraishi to hold discussion

The Lucky Star shrine in Washimiya, the Girls und Panzer bastion of Ōarai, and now the your name setting of Hida: these are just a few of the more well-known anime "holy sites" that dot Japan. When an anime is set in a certain locale, or even if background scenery strongly resembles a certain locale, that anime's fans will flock to the area to see the sights for themselves and buy local merchandise. These anime "pilgrimages" have become such a big deal that a "summit" for holy sites will be held next year in Yoshino in Nara Prefecture — the setting of Saki Episode of Side A.

The summit's poster

Those who make the pilgrimage to the National Anime Holy Land Summit can look forward to a lecture by Takashi Masumoto, associate professor at Nara Prefectural University, who studies anime holy sites; a discussion with Ryoko Shiraishi (Mako in Saki, Hayate in Hayate the Combat Butler, Sumire in ReLIFE), a voice actress from Nara Prefecture; lectures by background artists; research presentations by college students; and merchandise from holy sites from all over Japan. Yoshino is also an actual holy land for adherents of the Shugendō religion, and visitors can attend a tour of the historic Yoshimizu Shrine, where Ako lived in Saki Episode of Side A, on January 21.

The summit will convene at 10 AM on January 22 in the Yoshino Mountain Hometown Center (a former elementary school). It is sponsored by the Sakura Saki Project Executive Committee, which aims to rejuvenate Yoshino through its connections with Saki. It is free, except for the Shiraishi discussion, which costs 1,800 yen ($16). A previous summit had been held in Toyosato, Shiga Prefecture, in 2014.

Anime fans interested in taking a pilgrimage have many to choose from; luckily a guidebook and app make this easier.

Source: Man Tan Web

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