Friday, May 15, 2009

Princess Knight to Promote Tezuka's Hometown

The Japanese town of Takarazuka is about to get promoted in a big way! The hometown of Osamu Tezuka will be using one of his most famous creations, Princess Knight (Ribbon no Kishi), to attract tourism.

This, of course, makes perfect sense, as Takarazuka is well known for its theatrical performances where all of the roles, even the male characters, are played by ladies. Princess Knight is the story of a princess who masquerades as a male prince, so it's a perfect fit.

The image to the right is from a 2006 stage musical based on Princess Knight done in Takarazuka style, with an all female cast. I found it here.

InsideJapan News Network has the full story on Takarazuka's new mascot. You can also click the link below for an archived version. I'll be looking for more info on this, including pictures, very soon.

The hometown of celebrated manga illustrator Osamu Tezuka is to be promoted by one of his most well-known creations.

Ribon no Kishi (Princess Knight) will be involved in a number of events aimed at attracting tourists to the area of Takarazuka, reports Kyodo News.

The character will be played by two students from Kyoto University and Osaka University, who were selected from dozens of applicants and will wear costumes to represent the princess.

One of the students, Hiroko Sadato, told the news provider: "I will cheer up Takarazuka."

Her colleague Ayuko Sogo remarked: "I will play this big role with a big smile."

They will both be involved in a range of promotional activities which will be held until 2011.

Mr Tezuka began his manga career in 1946 creating illustrations for a publication aimed at children.

Fans of manga visiting the Japanese capital Tokyo may want to stop off at the Mandarake retail outlet, which offers everything from anime models to manga comics.