KUMAMOTO -- Statues of Chopper and Brook from popular anime and manga series "One Piece" will be unveiled in November ceremonies in southwestern Japan municipalities that were severely hit by the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, the Kumamoto Prefectural Government announced.
As part of its project to recover from the disaster, the prefectural government is installing nine statues of Luffy and his companions, the heroes of One Piece, as creator Eiichiro Oda hails from the prefectural capital Kumamoto. Chopper and Brook were originally set to be unveiled in March, but the events were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Chopper statue will be unveiled from its position outside the entrance to the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens in the city's Higashi Ward on Nov. 7, while the Brook statue will be shown at Fureai Hiroba park in the town of Mifune on Nov. 8. To prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, eligible participants in the ceremonies will be limited to residents of the prefecture, and the events will also be livestreamed on video sharing site YouTube.
So far, the Luffy statue has been installed in front of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government headquarters, while Sanji stands in the town of Mashiki, and Usopp in the city of Aso. The sixth statue, of Franky, is scheduled to be put up in the town of Takamori by the end of the year. The prefectural government aims to complete the remaining three character statues by the end of March 2021.
(Japanese original by Hayato Jojima, Kumamoto Bureau)