Toei’s ‘Ikkyu-san’ anime to promote tourism in Kyoto

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Leading anime studio Toei Animation Co. produced a multilanguage short anime featuring characters from widely popular anime “Ikkyu-san” for a special website to promote tourism in the nation’s ancient capital, the company said.

In the nine-and-a-half-minute video, Ikkyu-san, a young Buddhist monk, and his friend Shinemon time-travel to modern-day Kyoto. They visit various places to introduce landmarks and historical sites in the city.

The video is aimed at attracting tourists from China and other countries. The anime is streamed in Chinese, and comes with Japanese, Chinese and English subtitles.

The anime was produced as part of the Jidaigeki (period drama) Renaissance Project, commissioned to Toei Kyoto Studio, marketing company Intage Inc. and travel company Beans by the Kyoto prefectural government.

Various activities have been organized under the project to promote the charms of Kyoto–the birthplace of costume drama in Japan–to overseas countries.

The “Ikkyu-san” animated TV series aired from 1975 to 1982. Ikkyu-san is inspired by Ikkyu Sojun, a Zen monk who lived in Kyoto during the Muromachi Period (1338-1573).

The anime was chosen for the promotional video because it is also popular in China. It has been aired in the country on different occasions since 1983, and has become one of the most famous Japanese anime in China.

In addition, Toei Animation will release a feature film adaptation of “Ikkyu-san” nationwide in China in 2012. The movie was jointly produced by Toei Animation and Toonmax Media, an animation company under the umbrella of the Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group.

The online anime clip is the latest in the efforts by the Jidaigeki Renaissance Project aimed at promoting international tourism, especially from China, with the help of “Ikkyu-san.”

To view the short anime, visit (http://www.jidaigekirp.com/ikkyu.html).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.