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Great Buddha in central Japan lit up in blue to celebrate WBC triumph

The Great Buddha of Hotei is seen lit up in blue to celebrate Japan's WBC victory, in Konan, Aichi Prefecture, on March 22, 2023. (Mainichi/Shinichiro Kawase)

KONAN, Aichi -- The Great Buddha of Hotei here was lit up in blue to celebrate Japan's victory in the 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC) on March 22.

    The light was adjusted to make it look like the statue was wearing the "indigo" of Samurai Japan's away game uniforms.

    The Great Buddha of Hotei in Konan, Aichi Prefecture, is 18 meters tall, 3 meters taller than the Great Buddha in Japan's ancient capital Nara. It can be seen from trains going by on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line.

    "It was an emotional victory, so we hurriedly planned this event to share the joy with everyone," said Hiromi Shibata, head of the nonprofit that planned the illumination and that works to preserve the Hotei Station building. "We hope that many people will come to see the statue lit up, along with the surrounding cherry blossoms."

    The blue lights will be on from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. until March 25. The lights will be switched to white from March 26 to April 2 as the cherry blossoms bloom.

    (Japanese original by Shinichiro Kawase, Nagoya News Center)

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