Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Statue of 'One Piece' character Chopper unveiled at quake-hit zoo in southwest Japan

Two sisters dressed up as "One Piece" protagonist Luffy, right, and Chopper, left, are seen posing for a photo with the statue of Chopper at the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens in the city's Higashi Ward on Nov. 7, 2020. (Mainichi/Kohei Shimizu)

KUMAMOTO -- An unveiling ceremony for a statue of reindeer character Chopper that appears in the popular manga series "One Piece" was held at a zoo in this southwestern Japan city's Higashi Ward on Nov. 7.

    The statue was set up as part of a project to help Kumamoto Prefecture recover from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, by establishing the statues of nine characters from the manga -- created by Eiichiro Oda who hails from the city -- including the protagonist Luffy.

    The earthquake left cracks in structures where animals were kept and inflicted other damage on Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens, and it took two years and eight months of restoration work before the facility could fully reopen again.

    Chopper is a doctor who goes on an adventure with Luffy's crew. The statue, measuring about 1 meter in height, shows him sitting in a chair and holding a stethoscope.

    Fifty pairs, or 100 people, selected from over 2,000 submissions attended the unveiling ceremony. Kumamoto Mayor Kazufumi Onishi commented, "I'm very satisfied that we now have a statue that will symbolize recovery."

    Referring to the Pere David's deer named Chopper at the zoo, director Kakumitsu Tozawa said, "Please come and see both the (statue and elephant) Choppers."

    A decorated municipal train showing the reindeer character also started operating in the city on Nov. 7.

    (Japanese original by Kohei Shimizu, Kumamoto Bureau)

    A municipal train featuring "One Piece" characters is seen at the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens in the city's Higashi Ward on Nov. 7, 2020. (Mainichi/Kohei Shimizu)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media

    Trending