Good for Health: ‘AKIRA’ Bike Rides Across Japan for Autism Charity [Video]
Shinji Tejima spent several years and the equivalent of about $120,000 American dollars to create a flawless replica of the iconic red motorcycle seen in AKIRA, the landmark 1980s manga and anime written and drawn by Katsuhiro Otomo. The justification for such an endeavor is manifest, and the owner could have chosen to simply ride the bike around the world for the rest of his life with both middle fingers fully extended in the direction of every man, woman and child he encountered, for which he would be recognized universally as the greatest hero of all mankind. Instead, Tejima has chosen to put his unparalleled coolness in the service of charity by riding the bike across Japan to raise money to help children with autism.According to Anime News Network, Tejima hails from Fukuoka, where he works at the auto repair outfit Showa Studio. It took Tejima seven years to build the bike, which is apparently the only official recognized replica of Kaneda’s famous motorcycle. He’s so far traveled to Shikoku, Osaka, Nagoya, ShÅdo Island and Kobe Harbor on his quest to raise money for the autism charity Bokura Company, and will be stopping next week in Tokyo for the Katsuhiro Otomo GENGA Exhibition. There the replica bike will be available for photographs as part of an effort to raise money for reconstruction of the TÅhoku region that was hit by a tsunami and earthquake last year. The whole thing brings new meaning to “Good for Health,” the phrase printed on the back of Kaneda’s red jacket in the manga.
There’s a whole YouTube channel dedicated to documenting Tejima’s journey, and here is my favorite of the lot:
And some pictures of Tejima’s bike, via Kotaku: