National

'GeGeGe no Kitaro' tourist spot to upgrade night-time illumination of 'yokai'

Kyodo

A popular tourist spot in western Japan based on spirits and monster characters created by the late cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki will undergo its first major renovation to become a nighttime attraction.

Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, is a shopping street adorned with 153 statues of characters from the well-known manga “GeGeGe no Kitaro,” which depicts spirits and monsters from Japanese folklore known as yokai. Among them are Kitaro and Nezumi Otoko (Mouse Man).

From summer 2018, the yokai town, which opened in 1993, will install special lamps to create yokai shadows inside spotlight circles on the street, enhancing their spooky appeal, according to the Sakaiminato Municipal Government.

Shops along the street will change their business hours to sync with the lamps’ debut, and the statues will see a gain of 18 and be reorganized into five zones, including yokai from houses and forests.

An annual 2 million people from Japan and abroad visit Mizuki Shigeru Road and a museum dedicated to the cartoonist. The city of 35,000 sits on the Sea of Japan coast is where Mizuki was born.

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