Manga anthology praises the wonders of Iwate Prefecture

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

In an unusual promotional effort, the Iwate prefectural government will release an anthology of 10 manga stories dedicated to the prefecture on Jan. 28. All the content is written and illustrated by artists closely associated with Iwate Prefecture in northern Honshu.

Jointly published by the prefectural government and newspaper company Iwate Nippo Co., “Comic Iwate” will be issued in book form and available nationwide.

Koi Ikeno (“Tokimeki Tonight”), Nanko Torino (“Toripan”), Sensha Yoshida (“Utsurun Desu)” and other professional artists contributed to Comic Iwate.

It includes “Ihatov wo Aruku Hito” (The one who walks through Ihatov) by Yoshito Kudo, a short manga that won the Iwate Manga Taisho (Iwate manga grand prix) award last year.

The 168-page publication will be priced at 735 yen ($8.86), including tax. An initial print-run of 10,000 copies will be sold nationwide.

The project grew out of a two-part manga exhibition held from July through September last year at Ishigami-no-oka Museum of Art and Yorozu Tetsugoro Museum in the prefecture.

The exhibition featured 53 manga artists associated with Iwate Prefecture and provided insights into the richness of its manga culture. The show was a resounding success, and led the Iwate prefectural government to promote nature, culture, people and other attractive features of the area through manga.

The prefectural government also plans to publish subsequent volumes of books featuring short manga stories by artists from the region.

In the first volume, each short manga focuses on well-known aspects of Iwate Prefecture.
Koi Ikeno’s “Kaze no Okurimono” (Gift of the wind) was inspired by novel “Kaze no Matasaburo” (Matasaburo of the wind) by a famous son of Iwate Prefecture, poet and author Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933).

“Medotsu Nikki” (Diary of Medotsu) by Tomokazu Sato focuses on a “kappa” water sprite in Tono, an Iwate area well-known for its folk legends. Tsukushi Sonoda’s “Sakkora” deals with the Iwate Sansa Odori dance.

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