• Furusato and Emotional Pilgrimage Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro and Sakaiminato

      Greene, Barbara; Univ Arizona (NANZAN INST RELIGION CULTURE, 2017-08-01)
      The town of Sakaiminato, on the western coast of Japan, has revitalized its local economy through the transformation of the downtown into a tourist destination for fans of the popular manga creator Shigeru Mizuki. The strategy used by the local community closely replicates the traditional pilgrimage patterns established in Japan; however, the focus has been shifted from a religious to secular world view. While the iconography and meaning has changed, the emotional resonance has remained the same, with fans of the series developing a shared sense of community and a connection to some trans-societal force. This attempt to link older religious practices with modern fan cultures has been further strengthened by directly tying tourism with new releases of Mizuki's work.