Osamu Tezuka WorldI heard from a store clerk that there was some kind of "temporary Tezuka shop" in Akihabara. One night when we were down there, I looked around for it a bit. My friend Debbie fortunately sailed in and asked -- it sure enough was down the street, lights proudly emblazoning "Tezuka Osamu World Shop". As it says at left, it's an Astro Future, we only live in it.
|Osamu Tezuka (Tezuka is the family name; it's written first by convention in Asia, which is why the shop banner is Tezuka Osamu) was the father of Japanese manga and anime. He greatly expanded the boundaries of manga as a storytelling form, and created dozens of characters and properties including Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy in the U.S.) and Jangaru Taitei (literally Jungle Emperor; it was called Kimba the White Lion here). On the left was a full-sized re-creation of Astro Boy's ship that they built in the shop.|
|I was very tempted by the huge Astro Boy figure above the checkout shown at the top left of this page (a mere $800), but kept myself away somehow. I did get a cool Blackjack scarf (Blackjack is a Tezuka title which hasn't made it to the states) and an awesome Astro Boy T-shirt. Debbie got one of the T-shirts as well.|
|I also had to get some towels. See, Kimba was called Jungaru Taitei in Japan, but the name of the Kimba character was Reo, as in the Japanese pronounciation of Leo. Well, when I saw them, I figured that my bathroom at home really needed some towels that said on the edge, "Jungle Emperor Leo". I also manged to get my friend Jeff the Astro Boy figure he has said he wanted me to pick him up in Tokyo. You see, there were quite a few Astro Boy figures to look at...|
...really, quite a few.
Now, I hope this page hasn't got your heart set on going to Tezuka Osamu World, because the rumor we heard was true: this was a temporary store, open only for three months due to the thirtieth anniversary of Astro Boy. So don't rush to Tokyo just for that reason, it's too late...
But don't worry, I'm sure the thirtieth anniversary of Kimba of one of his other classic characters will come up soon.
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|© 1998 Leo Hourvitz|