• Kyodo

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Kochi Prefecture’s western city of Shimanto has created a good luck charm containing a fragment of a low-water crossing that has withstood the risk of collapse, intended for students wishing for success in upcoming entrance exams.

The aging condition of the Iwama low-water crossing, a tourist spot that spans the Shimanto River, came to a head in November 2017, when one of its metal piers sank due to corrosion and caused the bridge’s road surface to bend in a V-shape.

The damaged part was removed in spring last year.

The city created a key chain with concrete fragments from the road surface encased in acrylic resin, capitalizing on the good fortune of the crossing to have not “fallen” or “failed” despite the precarious conditions.

The crossing “has endured through water currents for long period of time and held on in a V-shape, which could evoke the image of victory,” said one official.

“I encourage exam takers to do their best with perseverance.”

Each charm costs ¥500 ($4.61). Only a thousand of them will be available for sale.

Twenty percent of the sales proceeds will be set aside for repairing the crossing.

The charm can be purchased at the Shimanto City Tourism Association and other locations. The product can also be sent by mail.

For inquiries, call the city’s roadside rest area, named Yotte Nishi-Tosa, on 0880-52-1398.

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