The 2016 "Tora-san Summit," an event celebrating areas of Japan that appeared in the long-running Japanese movie series "Otoko wa Tsurai yo" (It's hard being a man), opened in Tokyo on Nov. 26.
The two-day summit, held in an area around the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward, is named after the series' main character, Torajiro Kuruma, better known as "Tora-san," played by the late actor Kiyoshi Atsumi.
Several people dressed as Tora-san were seen around the summit venue on Nov. 26. In a greeting, Yoji Yamada, director of the 48-part series, commented, "I'll be happy if people come to understand the feeling of what happiness is. My desire for people to continue loving this series forever is renewed."
At the summit, which is partially sponsored by the Katsushika Ward Office, representatives of areas that appeared in the films gather in a bid to disseminate information of the appeal of those places. This year 16 municipalities took part in the summit -- four more than during the inaugural summit last year.
A museum near Shibamata Taishakuten also reopened on Nov. 26 following renovations, providing information on Yamada's achievements and showcasing his works, and many fans of the movie series turned up.
This year happens to mark 20 years since Atsumi's death. At 1 p.m. on Nov. 27, a talk will be held at the Hosho Kaikan assembly hall at Shibamata Taishakuten, featuring actress Chieko Baisho, who played the role of Tora-san's younger sister Sakura Suwa in the film series.