• 北海道発:身近なものをエネルギーに変える暮らし

    [From May Issue 2013]


    A monthly electricity bill of no more than 600 yen. Sapporo resident, HARA Mizuho, managed to make that figure a reality by making the best of the things she had to hand. Hara is a member of the bubble generation. Consuming many things in her day-to-day life when she lived in Tokyo, she used to be the absolute opposite of how she is today.

    However, her world view changed dramatically after quitting her job at an advertising agency where she’d worked for ten years, to go travelling round 60 countries in six years. She noticed how wasteful life in Japan was. She was especially shocked when she met a soldier in the autonomous Palestinian territories.

    Hara asked the soldier: “Why are you fighting this war?” The soldier answered, “Honestly, this war has nothing to do with me. I don’t really hate anyone and I don’t want to kill anyone either.” She began reflecting on the true cause of wars when she heard his heartfelt comment: “But there’s nothing I can do about it because this is my job now!” And she eventually began to realize that war is just a scramble for energy resources.

    To use and discard goods is to waste the energy spent on the production of those goods. She believed that if wars were caused all over the world for control of energy resources, then the number of people like that soldier would increase, so she turned her back on the consumer lifestyle. After returning to Japan, she used water instead of toilet paper. She started blowing her nose with a handkerchief. Electricity is another kind of energy that can be consumed. She got rid of her refrigerator and microwave oven in order to reduce power consumption in the home and began generating her own power.

    Some people have said, “How admirable,” after hearing about her lifestyle. But Hara feels uncomfortable when she remembers these compliments. “For me, a lifestyle of conserving energy is fun. Rather than being a form of self-denial, I take creative risks to live life by my own rules.” She feels that this lifestyle, in which the goal is not to economize, but to cherish things by being creative, is full of interesting discoveries.

    Hara began to pay more attention to her power consumption after the Great East Japan Earthquake two years ago and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. At the end of last year, she published a book titled: “Dekita! Denkidai 600 Yen Seikatsu (I did it! Life with 600 Yen Electricity Bills)” In it, creative ways to conserve food without using a refrigerator and techniques on how to beat the heat and the cold are divulged. Hara believes that by using local resources, a lifestyle like hers is possible anywhere and she’s planning to spread this message on a nationwide lecture tour.

    Meanwhile, HOMMA Kota is starting up a business well suited to Hokkaido, a snowy region. While working for a large construction company, he used to be involved as an engineer in the construction of air conditioning systems that used snow and this led to a career related to snow. Though he was involved in constructing air conditioning systems that used snow for many facilities, he was troubled. If a facility was too large or too small, his company wouldn’t take on the contract, so many potential projects to make use of snow simply disappeared.

    It was a TV commercial that was repeatedly aired in Hokkaido after the Great East Japan Earthquake that inspired Homma. The catchphrase of the ad was: “If you change your point of view, you’ll win support.” Upon hearing this, Homma recalls, “Thinking that this was no time to take it easy as a company employee.” Though snow is a nuisance for most residents of snowy regions, he knew it had the potential to be an important energy resource.


    The entrance hall is used in place of a refrigerator
    Setting up a simple storage facility for keeping rice cool at a restaurant


    While the whole nation was searching for energy resources to replace fossil fuels, in order to bring the practical benefits of snow energy to as many people as possible, Homma decided to start a company that specialized in snow-powered air-conditioning systems. A year after the quake, on March 11, 2012, he founded Snowshop Kobiyama and, on March 11 this year, quit the construction company. He has now begun his activities in earnest.

    While Homma already has multiple on-going projects – for instance he’s currently researching the feasibility of introducing a snow-powered air-conditioning system at the Imperial Hotel – he’s particularly involved with developing a scheme that would involve various industries, to attract data centers to Hokkaido. The cost of cooling a large data center in Tokyo – which operates computer servers and so forth – would be over a billion yen a year. However, a similar-sized one installed in Hokkaido and cooled by snow, would be run on for just 20% of that electricity bill.

    Homma’s plan is to make use of the heat emitted by data centers in order to establish greenhouses and inland fish farms nearby. He’s trying to create jobs for locals, too. The snow to be consumed at the facility will come from local government sites that store cleared snow. If this proves to be insufficient, Homma’s studying the possibility of buying some in the neighborhood, too. If the removal of snow, which has up until now cost money, is profitable, those living in snowy regions will have a completely different attitude to snow. One company is already showing an interest in the data center scheme, and in about two years at the earliest, we’ll probably be able to see the first “Snow Data Center Village.”

    After being motivated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, both Hara and Homma have been promoting the use of local energy resources. IETSUGU Keisuke says, “After the quake, more people began thinking about taking it upon themselves to deal with matters that had up until then been left to national government.” He’s been running a store in Furano City selling electric appliances for some 20 years. About 17 years ago, he also began selling equipment that runs on natural energy resources, because he wanted do some work with an eye to the future that would improve people’s awareness and the environment.

    The first of these products was a windmill, and he continues to deal in equipment that generates power from sunlight or wind. However, his leading products are stoves that use compressed wood pellets as fuel and a sewage water treatment system that harnesses the power of underground bacteria. He says, “The number of companies dealing in solar power generation systems has increased considerably since the quake. We’re going to continue developing our knowhow by introducing items that haven’t caught on yet and new technologies to Hokkaido.”

    Ietsugu and his colleagues are now testing a hydraulic generation device. They are working on ways to return both the power and profit derived from this to the region. If a company from outside the region installs a power generation system, the region won’t see much of the proceeds. Instead, Ietsugu happily says of his plan – that will soon be a reality – that, “I’d like to build a system in which the profit from local energy resources will benefit the whole region.” It might just be that if we put our minds to making use of the things around us, we will tap into a limitless energy resource.

    HARA Mizuho’s website
    Snowshop Kobiyama
    IETSUGU Keisuke’s website, Sanso

    Text: ICHIMURA Masayo








    2年前の東日本大震災とそれに続く福島第一原発の事故後、はらさんはさらに電気の使い方に気を使うようになりました。昨年末には、そんな暮らしぶりをまとめた「できた! 電気代600円生活」という本を出版。冷蔵庫を使わずに食品を保存する方法や暑さ寒さをしのぐテクニックなど、創造性に満ちたアイディアが並びます。はらさんは、自分のような暮らしはそれぞれの土地の特性を生かしてどこででもできるはず、と今後は全国各地で講演をする予定です。











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  • 気軽に着られる着物が人気

    [From May Issue 2013]


    Many people are interested in kimono, but feel they are expensive and difficult to take care of. Recently, more and more shops sell reasonably priced, easy-to-wear kimono. They appeal to a variety of different age groups.

    “Nadeshiko Asakuka EKIMISE,” a shop operated by Yamato Co., Ltd. is popular among women in their 20s and 30s. PR representative, MIYOSHI Tomoko, says, “The interiors of our shops are intentionally bright and staff are around the same age as our customers. The range of kimono we sell includes many inexpensive items made of polyester, as well as silk kimono that cost less than 50,000 yen.” Customers who are after inexpensive “obijime” (decorative string used to hold a kimono sash in place), or “tabi” (traditional Japanese socks) also visit the shop.

    Their kimono and accessories appeal to young women because, just as with western clothes, the design of the products displayed is cute. “We organize events, such as the first visit to the temple in the New Year, for customers who have bought a kimono at our store, so they will have more opportunities to wear kimono,” says Miyoshi.

    At “Nagamochiya,” where they sell recycled kimono, customers are mainly women in their 40s to 60s. The plus side of buying recycled kimono is that, unlike new items, you have a chance to get your hands on a rare kimono.

    Usually, a kimono is tailor made after the customer buys the cloth. Since recycled kimono is already tailored, the benefit is that you do not need to pay to have it sewn for you and you can wear it as soon as you have bought it.

    “The recycled kimono that sells the best is priced from 20,000 to 50,000 yen. The majority of customers are people who wear kimono for a discipline like tea ceremony, and those who simply love kimono. The majority of our customers wanted inexpensive kimono for a hobby or for practicing a discipline, but these days there is more demand from people who are searching for rare items,” says IDA Mayumi, PR representative for Shinso Ohashi, Co., Ltd., which operates Nagamochiya.

    It’s not only kimono that’s become popular, now more and more people are casually wearing yukata (kimono for summer). Yukata, not only made of cotton, or linen, but also polyester which is cool and is dries quickly, is now bought by many people and worn outside during summer.

    UENO Satoko, who manages a community for women who like kimono and yukata says, “Just as with western clothes, when you begin to wear a kimono, you feel that you’d like more than just one item, so we’re glad that it’s possible to get hold of cheap kimono. Because it’s difficult to store some kimono without it getting damaged, it is a big help to us that we now find more items that are made of easy care fabrics.” The number of people who casually enjoy wearing kimono may continue to increase.

    Nadeshiko Asakusa EKIMISE

    Text: TSUCHIYA Emi













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  • 日本のメディアはどんなニュースを報道しているのか

    [From May Issue 2013]


    Except for major events, the Japanese media doesn’t report much foreign news. That being said, there are almost daily reports about the USA, China and Korea – countries that have a great deal of influence on Japanese affairs. In the case of North Korea – which by developing nuclear power and launching missiles, in addition to having kidnapped Japanese citizens, poses a threat to Japan – any time there is any kind of incident, it’s given coverage.

    The Japanese media only reports about Russia when a new development in territorial disputes takes place. This phenomenon not only occurs in Japan, but is typical of the media in other nations too. The media is apt to only cover news that directly affects its audience.

    Headline domestic news is generally about politics and economics, but, unless it’s election time, people do not show much interest. Looking at it from a different point of view, it might be said that though Japan has its problems, it’s mostly politically stable and serious crises do not happen on a daily basis. However, in recent years, social problems such as the increase of temporary labor, the pension crisis, the declining birthrate and the aging population, are reported on daily.

    Since Japan has a low crime rate compared to other countries, murder cases and other crimes receive a lot of coverage. Recently, the problem of bullying is often covered. Sports reports are popular, and, as well as being in the news, there are also sports programs on TV. There are many specialist sports newspapers.

    There are many entertainment programs on TV including comedy, gourmet, travel and music programs. Nowadays these are an indispensable part of the information the media provides.

    Japanese Media

    Japanese are, for the most part, racially homogenous, so media reports are only in Japanese (some broadcasts are available in English and there are some English newspapers). Therefore newspapers cover stories nationwide and key TV stations report news from all parts of Japan. As a result, almost all Japanese people share the same information.

    Japan has five national newspapers: Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi, Sankei and Nikkei. Nikkei specializes in economic news. There are three types of TV broadcasting: terrestrial digital broadcasting, satellite broadcasting and paid satellite broadcasting. There are several private major TV stations besides the nationalized NHK station.

    NHK TV has four channels: terrestrial, terrestrial education, BS and BS premium. Major TV stations have ties with newspapers (Nippon TV with Yomiuri, TBS with Mainichi, Fuji TV with Sankei, TV Asahi with Asahi and TV Tokyo with Nikkei).

    Because it is a medium that can be enjoyed while working, radio stations are still supported by listeners, such as drivers. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, its value has been reassessed.













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  • 埼玉県――歴史が感じられる町並みと、色彩豊かな自然を楽しむ

    [From May Issue 2013]


    Developed as a dormitory suburb for commuters, Saitama Prefecture lies to the north of Tokyo. The western Chichibu district is a mountainous area, rich with nature’s bounty. The Kanto plains take up the rest of the prefecture. Kawagoe, a city in the south-western part of Saitama, is a sightseeing spot where visitors can get a flavor of a historical cityscape. It is popular because it is about one hour away from the metropolitan Tokyo area.

    Having prospered during the Edo era (17–19th centuries) as the castle town of the Kawagoe clan, Kawagoe is also known as Koedo, or “little Edo” (Edo being the former name of Tokyo). Visitors should first make their way to Kura-zukuri Street, a shopping street lined with black warehouses. Built to withstand fires, a peculiar feature of these buildings is their thick walls and well-tiled roofs. Telling the time since the Edo era, the eye-catching Toki-no-kane bell tower is Kawagoe’s most famous landmark.

    Continuing north-east, on Ichiban-gai Street, the Hikawa shrine sits surrounded by trees. With a history stretching back 1500 years, this Shinto shrine is known for honoring the god of marriage. Held every autumn, the Kawagoe festival is one of the events celebrated at this shrine. Approximately eight meters tall, splendid dashi, or floats, are wheeled around the downtown area and the sight of these floats passing by each other is really impressive. These dashi, along with footage of the festival, can be seen on display and on screen at the Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan (festival hall).

    By providing an important line of defense to the north for the Edo Shogunate, the Kawagoe clan played an important role during the Edo era. Symbolizing this is the Honmaru-goten, (where the lord of the castle carried out his daily life and dealt with affairs of state); part of the entrance and the big hall of this building still remains standing and has a distinct architectural style. A deeper insight into the history of Kawagoe can be attained at the the Honmaru-gotten and Kawagoe City Museum.

    Another 15 minutes’ walk away is Kitain. During the Edo era, this temple had ties to the Tokugawa Shogunate. Buildings, such as the reception hall where the third shogun, Iemitsu, was born, were moved from Edo castle and reconstructed in the temple grounds. Also worth seeing are the Gohyaku Rakan: 538 carved stone statues of Buddha’s disciples lined up in rows. The poses and expressions of the stone statues vary, and it is said that among them, it’s possible to find a statue that is your spitting image.

    A local specialty of Kawagoe is the satsumaimo sweet potato. In the Edo era, when roast sweet potato become popular, Kawagoe was known for producing good quality sweet potatoes. That is why Kawagoe produces many snacks, including noodles, which contain sweet potatoes. Futomen yakisoba (thick fried noodles) has also become a popular local dish. Those who grew up in Kawagoe during the Showa era (1926–1989) fondly remember this snack.

    Chichibu is another tourist spot worth visiting. Once the site of a flourishing silk trade, the town of Chichibu sits in a valley surrounded by mountains, such as Mt. Bukouzan. The buildings of Chichibu, especially Chichibu Furusato-kan, have a charming old-world feel. Those feeling hungry might like to try local koduuhan (small lunches) such as “okkirikomi” or the “miso-potato.” Hitsujiyama Park commands a view of the town below. In spring shiba-zakura blossom covers the park.


    Chichibu Night Festival / Chichibu Kawase Matsuri


    Held in Chichibu shrine, Chichibu is particularly well known for its festivals. During the summer, men carry a mikoshi (portable shrine) into the waters of the Arakawa river for the Chichibu Kawase Matsuri (Chichibu rapids festival), and during the winter at the Yomatsuri (Night Festival), flamboyant and striking floats and firework displays impress visitors. In addition, Chichibu is a historically famous site for pilgrimages. At the 34 Kannon reijou (holy Kannon sites), amulets are given out as proof of worship and, as they worship the Kannons (goddesses of Mercy), visitors can also enjoy the various gardens and flora of each temple.

    In western Chichibu away from urban areas, a unique tradition has been passed down from generation to generation. Handmade rockets are launched for the Ryuusei Matsuri; a festival that started out in the Edo era and takes place at the Muku shrine in Yoshida. In Ogano-machi, a Ogano kabuki performance is held six times a year, using a mobile festival float and others as a stage.

    To enjoy nature go to Nagatoro. Here there is a 500-meter long rocky ravine running along the Arakawa river; a protected habitat, this wild and rocky gorge, is a beautiful sight to behold. Enjoy the exhilarating rush as boatmen daringly guide the boat downstream. The area is crowded with tourists during cherry blossom season in spring and when the leaves change color in autumn.

    Deeper into the mountains is the sacred mountain, Oku-Chichibu. It takes approximately one hour by bus to get there from Mitsumineguchi station. Thought to be the birthplace of the legendary prince Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, Mitsumine shrine is located 1,100 meters above sea level. Deep within tall trees, the atmosphere is very mysterious. To the west, beyond Lake Chichibu, lies the 50-meter high Fudoutaki (the motionless waterfall). Another fantastic sight is the Misotsuchi-no Tsurara; icicles that grow along the Arakawa river to a length of approximately eight meters.


    Float downstream at Nagatoro / Hitsujiyama Park


    With its fertile natural environment, Chichibu is the center of production for Chichibu soba (buckwheat noodles). Other excellent souvenirs from Chichibu are Chichibu wine and Bukou Masamune sake made with Chichibu’s delicious waters. In Oku-Chichibu, you can try wild boar and sushi made with char caught in the mountain streams.

    There are also hot-spring ryokan (inn) in Chichibu. Hatago Ichiban, which has been in business since the Edo era, and Araki Kousen Ryokan, with a history stretching back for more than 180 years, are both examples of ryokan with long histories. If you’re just on a day trip, affordable outdoor hot springs with views over the ravine include the excellent Chichibu Onsen Mangan no Yu in Oku-nagatoro and the popular Ootaki Onsen in Oku Chichibu.

    To get to Kawagoe station from Ikebukuro station, it takes 30 minutes by express on the Tobu Tojo Line. On the Seibu Shinjuku Line it takes approximately 45 minutes from Seibu Shinjuku station to Hon-Kawagoe station on the Koedo-Express. To get to Seibu Chichibu station, it takes approximately one hour and 20 minutes from Ikebukuro station on the Chichibu Express along the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. In addition, recently the Tokyu-Toyoko line and the Fukutoshin line were connected, and from Yokohama you can go directly to Kawagoe and Chichibu without transferring.

    Kawagoe City
    Koedo Kawagoe Tourism Association
    Chichibu City
    Chichibu Tourism Association
    Nagatoro Tourism Association

    Text: YAMAZAKI Yuriko



















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  • 日本人とイスラム教徒とのかけ橋に

    [From May Issue 2013]


    SAKURA HOUSE Co., Ltd.

    “We wanted to create an opportunity for Japanese to see how calm and highly moral Muslim people are,” says NAMIKI Masayo, sales manager for SAKURA HOUSE Co., Ltd. SAKURA HOUSE is a company that manages hotels and apartment buildings for non-Japanese. This February, they opened up the shared house, “Yoyogi-uehara Muslim House” in Yoyogi-uehara, Tokyo.

    Muslims have all kinds of religious customs. They can’t drink alcohol nor eat pork. Women cannot show their skin to men outside their family. Muslims also customarily pray five times a day and go to mosque on Fridays. In Japan, many foods contain alcohol and pork ingredients and there are few places for praying. “Life wasn’t easy for Muslims in Japan, especially for women,” says Namiki.

    Up until now, Japan had little contact with Muslim societies. Lots of oil is bought from the Middle East, so while many Japanese travelled there on business, few Muslims visited Japan. However, an increasing number of Muslims from south east Asia, the middle east and Africa are coming to Japan in recent years to study and work.

    “Many Muslim customers have begun to visit our company, too,” says Namiki. “A Saudi student who understood neither English nor Japanese came after translating our website using Google Translate. Muslims ask us where they can find a mosque and where they can buy halal foods. That’s why we had the idea for this shared house for Muslims.”

    The Muslim House was designed so that Muslims could live comfortably there. There’s a prayer room in which an arrow indicates Qibla (the direction in which to face towards Holy Mecca). The second floor is for women only and is separated from the first floor by a curtain. In the neighborhood there’s Tokyo Camii, one of few large-scale mosques in Japan.

    “But the proximity to the mosque wasn’t that important for me,” says tenant Anfal SEDDIK, smiling. “I chose this place because there’s a floor reserved for women and because it’s new and clean.” Anfal is French and she’s staying in Japan for an internship. “I like it here because the surroundings are quiet. I can pray like I always do and it’s also good that it’s a typical Japanese house.”

    “The idea for the Muslim House was partly inspired by a Muslim, Mohamed IBRAHIM, who started working for SAKURA HOTEL Hatagaya, one of the hotels we administer,” says Namiki. “Japanese are still far from being familiar with Muslims. Unfortunately some are scared of them as they hear about Islamic extremists in the news. In a town where Japanese and Muslims cross paths daily, in our own little way we’d like to encourage interaction between Japanese and Muslims.”

    SAKURA HOUSE Co., Ltd.

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo












    文:砂崎 良

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  • まるで本物! 机の上にひろがる自然

    [From May Issue 2013]


    Kitan Club Co., Ltd.

    Birds that look as if they are about to fly, cute rabbits and cats: these are all palm-sized figurines. Easily obtained from capsule toy vending machines, known as “gachagacha” and toy shops, they are quite popular among children and adults.

    Kitan Club Co., Ltd. (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo), is a company founded in September 2006, which plans, designs, manufactures and sells capsule toys. The company is well established with a reputation for creating fully-imagined toys. Drawing inspiration from plants and animals in the natural world, their “Nature Techni Colour” series is especially popular.

    Nature Techni Colour signifies: “Figurines of all kinds of natural objects in natural colours.” Creatures are grouped according to their ecosystem; for example, sea turtles go together with dolphins and whales. There are about ten animals in each set. When you have collected the set, it’s as if the natural world has invaded your desktop.

    The director of the company who created this series, SATO Junya, relates how they got started on the series: “Since we could not find high-quality figurines of living creatures, we decided to make them ourselves. The models of mushrooms and edible wild plants are mostly life-sized. We hear about children surprising their families by secretly attaching models of frogs and lizards to the refrigerator with magnets. We receive a lot of requests and take these into account when we make new products.”

    Some items in the Nature Techni Colour series come with a pedestal useful for display, a magnet or a cell-phone strap. The popular “Kaiyo I” (Ocean No. 1) is sold in souvenir shops in aquariums around Japan.

    Each individual figurine is designed by an artisan called a genkei-shi. The person in charge of planning discusses the specifications of each item – shape, size, etc. – with the genkei-shi and modifications are made until they are satisfied with the product. Up until the product is completed in the factory, strict quality control checks are carried out.

    As a company, Kitan Club has also been active in supporting reconstruction efforts after the earthquake. Since April, 2011, just a short time after the earthquake, a portion of the profits from the sale of the Nature Techni Colour series has been donated. Furthermore, the company has been periodically holding workshops to create dioramas of disaster struck areas using their figurines of living creatures. By turning the tree frog, a local mascot, which is a symbol of reconstruction, into a figurine, and also by returning a portion of sales profits to damaged areas, the company demonstrates its close links with the disaster-struck areas.

    Sato says, “We would be delighted if children from around the world became interested in living beings and nature as a whole as a result of getting their hands on our Nature Techni Colour figurines.”

    Kitan Club Co., Ltd.

    Text: MUKAI Natsuko














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  • ブッダとキリストのバカンスを描くコメディーまんが

    [From May Issue 2013]


    Saint Young Men

    “Saint Young Men” is a humorous comic that was first serialized in a manga magazine for young adults in 2007. It has been so popular that, when published in book form, it sold more than two million copies in one year. In 2009, it received the short story award for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The two heroes are Buddha (Gautama), the founder of Buddhism, and Jesus Christ, the Christian messiah.

    In the story, in order to enjoy a vacation in this world, Buddha and Jesus live happily together, sharing an apartment in Tachikawa City, Tokyo. They live in a small room without a bath, and wear casual clothes such as hand-made T-shirts and jeans. Sometimes they are like a family, at other times, like close friends who are considerate of each other and respect each other.

    Buddha is a very level-headed kind of guy and takes charge of most of the household chores: cooking, cleaning and managing the domestic finances. He is like a mother. When he says something virtuous, a halo shines around his head. When he walks outside, many animals gather around him. In one episode he reads TEZUKA Osamu’s “Buddha,” and, deeply moved by his own life story, becomes a fan and buys up all the volumes.

    Jesus has an easy-going temperament and often laughs. When there is something to be glad about, he works miracles. Although he isn’t very physically robust, he cures the sick just by drawing near. He can change stones into bread and water into wine. He is up to date with the latest technological developments in personal computing, enjoys using the Internet and even writes a blog. He is aware that people say that he looks like the American actor Johnny DEPP.

    The story is not only about Buddha and Christ; legends and figures from other religions also appear. These incidents are depicted as occurring in real life. For instance, when the two face a crisis, their apostles come flying down from heaven to rescue them and solve their problems. Even if the reader knows little of these religions, each episode is bound to bring a smile to reader’s faces.

    Readers sympathize when, laughing and crying, they read about these great men, who have been the focus of such ardent worship and respect, leading ordinary lives. Also, while many modern manga are high octane and fast paced, this work has no extreme storylines, villains or criminals. For fans of the work, its main appeal is the aura of Buddha and Jesus.

    Exhibited at the British Museum from January to February 2011, this work really struck a chord with the general public. The work was exhibited in the museum’s Asian galleries where Japanese culture is introduced alongside bronze ware, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and haniwa (clay figurines) with explanatory labels. According to reports, a spokesman for the British Museum said, “Although it deals with religion, I am impressed by the witty content, which encourages tolerance in a cheerful, easygoing manner.”

    Text: KOMIYAMA Ranko












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