Tsunami rebuilding through anime

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Following the devestation of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, many seaside towns are still struggling to recover and rebuild from the wrath of Mot...

Following the devestation of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, many seaside towns are still struggling to recover and rebuild from the wrath of Mother Nature. A Japanese animated series shows that assistance can come in different forms.

By Karn G. Bulsuk

You'll be surprised at how common such sights can be in Japan.
Traditionally, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes have revolved around volunteer days off or donation drives organised by teams within the company. The success of such programmes for the company involved can revolve around the good it does, as well as the media exposure received for their charitable contributions.

Themed food was available as well.
It seems that a Japanese media company has, deliberately or not, done much good to the sleepy town of ŇĆarai, a fishing town in Ibaraki prefecture in Japan, boasting only 19,000 residents. Devastated by the 2011 tsunami, the town has been extensively featured in the hit anime Girls und Panzer, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the seaside town.

Set in a world where Sensha-do, or the Art of the Tank, has the same status as other martial arts such as kendo or karate-do, the story is how a group of underdogs manage to defeat the competition to win the national championships.


Seeking to boost tourist numbers, the city embraced their new found fame by organising events related to this anime during their traditional spring festival in March, wrapping trains and buses, both inside and out, in pictures of the characters, all the way to the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) rolling a tank in for display to appreciative fans.

The event more than doubled the number of visitors from 25,000 to 60,000. In additional to traditional merchandise, locals were able to also sell themed goods related to the anime, bringing in much needed revenue to the prefecture and helping those affected by the tsunami to continue to repair their lives.

It would seem that in today's world, doing good comes in a range of ways - you sometimes just literally need to be creative about it.


Link: http://www.oarai-info.jp/girls-und-panzer/

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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Tsunami rebuilding through anime
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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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