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Huge 'One Piece' character panels installed at southwest Japan airport

Large wall panels depicting "One Piece" manga characters are seen at Aso Kumamoto Airport in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Dec. 6, 2021. (Mainichi/Yasuhisa Yamamoto)

MASHIKI, Kumamoto -- Two large panels depicting characters from popular manga series "One Piece" have been put up on a wall at Aso Kumamoto Airport's domestic terminal building in this southwest Japan town.

    One panel features a 5.8-meter-high and 3.2-meter-wide illustration by author Eiichiro Oda, a native of the neighboring city of Kumamoto, praying for reconstruction after the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. The other 3.9 m high and 28.8 m wide panel depicts eight of the "Straw Hat Pirates," including protagonist Luffy, and a map of where the Kumamoto Prefectural Government is installing bronze statues of them. The panels' sizes give them tremendous impact.

    The prefectural government installed the panels at a cost of 2.5 million yen (about $22,000) as part of its quake recovery project. The images are printed on vinyl chloride boards, and are slated to be on display for at least the next two years.

    (Japanese original by Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Kumamoto Bureau)

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