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Nightscapes with popular manga series characters adorn southwest Japan city train station

This photo shows a mural featuring characters from "City Hunter" ((c) Tsukasa Hojo/Coamix, 1985) and other works along with night views at JR Kokura Station in Kitakyushu's Kokurakita Ward on April 5, 2021. (Mainichi/Shotaro Asano)

KITAKYUSHU, Fukuoka -- A mural featuring characters from popular Japanese manga series such as "City Hunter" to introduce this southwest Japan city's nightscapes were unveiled at JR Kokura Station on April 5.

    The mural is adorned with characters created by manga artist Tsukasa Hojo, who is from Kitakyushu, and night views of the city. The piece measures about 15 meters wide and some 2.7 meters high, and is on display in the east public corridor of the first floor of the station, which is located in the city's Kokurakita Ward.

    The corridor was refurbished in 2017, and the station has created manga-related photo spots in cooperation with the nearby Kitakyushu Manga Museum. The latest project aims to further enhance the appeal of Kitakyushu, which was selected as one of three new Japanese cities with the most spectacular night views in 2018, with the help of Hojo's internationally popular work

    Kitakyushu Mayor Kenji Kitahashi, right, and Kitakyushu Manga Museum director Tokihiko Tanaka pose for photos in front of a mural at JR Kokura Station in the city's Kokurakita Ward on April 5, 2021. (Mainichi/Shotaro Asano)

    In the mural, nightscape photos of six locations, including the Mojiko Retro district, Mount Sarakura and Kokura Castle, and illustrations of characters such as Ryo Saeba in "City Hunter" and "Angel Heart" are combined. The three Kisugi sisters, phantom thieves in "Cat's Eye," are illustrated rappelling down in front of a factory night view, which the city is currently promoting.

    Hojo said on the mural's unveiling: "I feel like I'm back home. I hope the work will be loved by Kitakyushu residents and fans for a long time." Mayor Kenji Kitahashi said during the launch ceremony on April 5, "I want the festive mood to increase with the combination of Kitakyushu's spectacular nightscapes and works that have been loved by people regardless of their age, sex or where they live."

    (Japanese original by Shotaro Asano, Kyushu News Department)

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