Tottori City Honors Late Manga Creator Jiro Taniguchi with 11ft High Sand Sculpture

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The manga world lost a bright star earlier this year when creator Jiro Taniguchi passed away at the age of 69. Known for his signature style of fine line art and shading without ink, Taniguchi attracted adult fans of his honest portrayal of every day people. His stories like Kodoku no Gourmet about a solitary salesman named Gorō Inagashira as he travels all over Japan is just one example of his popular works detailing the allure of different locales. He'd later create works featuring the Louvre in France, Venice, New York, Sicily, and other settings abroad.

Taniguchi's works may have expressed a sense of wanderlust, but the artist hailed from the city of Tottori in Tottori prefecture, an area well known for its sand dunes. The natural wonder is the only of its kind in Japan. The city has chosen this feature as its way to honor Taniguchi in a planned sculpture set to begin construction next month.

The sand artists are working off of Taniguchi's own creation, Chichi no Koyomi (Father's Calendar) manga. The story takes place in Tottori in the 1950s. A family is devastated by the Great Tottori Fire of 1952, but the family comes to terms with the disaster and breaks free from the bonds holding them back. Taniguchi calls upon his childhood memories of Tottori's streets, the nearby Kyūshōzan mountain, and the local Ōchidani Park to color the manga's backdrops.

The sand sculpture shows the manga's characters in the center and a portrait of Taniguchi looking wistfully towards them on the left. On the right, a character with a dog is shown, a reference to Taniguchi's other work Inu wo Kau. The sculpture will also recreate the mountain and the climber that is central to his work Kamigami no Itadaki.

The project is planned to measure 3.4m high (11.15ft), 7.4m wide (24.3ft), and 4.2m (13.8ft) deep. The city will hold a completion ceremony on November 2. It will be viewable to the public until November 26.

The memorial work is also part of a larger exhibition in Tottori focusing on the area's sand dunes. The Tottori Sand Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary by focusing on the culture of Japan and the United States. Taniguchi is representing Japan while a large-scale Justice League sculpture of the famed superheroes from DC comic books are representing the United States.

Source: Comic Natalie

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