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Nippop News : International anime passion blooms in Fukushima (2011.08.15)
August 12, 2011
Cosplayers from Italy, Spain, and Denmark, participating in the World Cosplay Summit, visited Aizuwakamatsu city in Fukushima on August 11, to show their support for the people of the earthquake stricken area.
Their first stop was the city hall, where they paid a courtesy call to the mayor of Aizuwakamatsu, Muroi Shohei, who had just assumed office on August 8th. Next up on their itinerary was a meeting with the local cosplay group, “Aizu Moe Musume,” at the scenic Tsurugajo Castle. There, surrounded by wind chimes and morning glories, they also had the chance to enjoy chilled matcha (powdered green tea) and manju (steamed bun).
Nicolas Cabrerizo, a member of the Spanish team, was moved when the Samurai City Aizutai, another local cosplay group, allowed him to hold their sword.
For lunch, the cosplayers enjoyed some local dishes at Shibukawa Tonya, and later in the afternoon, they tried their hands at painting a special type of ceramic doll known as the self-righting doll. A folk toy handed down over many generations of the locale, this doll rectifies itself every time it gets knocked down, demonstrating the motif of tenacity for which the traditional handicrafts of the region is renowned.
The paintings made by Daniella Maiorana, a member of the Italian team, were unrivaled, revealing her talents as an artist.
Wherever these international cosplayers went, they unanimously responded to the warm welcome they received with the message, “We love the people of Tohoku” and seemed particularly eager to convey the splendors of the castle and local cuisine to their fellow citizens.
Reactions from the cosplayers:
Spanish representative: Nicolas Cabrerizo
"The castle, the sword, and the people are all remarkable."
Spanish representative: Maria Perez
"I'm delighted that the Sendai Airport has already reopened. I can feel the resilient spirit of the people."
Italian representatives: Marika Roncon and Daniela Maiorana were both moved by the opportunity of wearing a pink kimono, saying that it was an amazing experience.
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