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Japan’s Ishinomori Manga Museum Re-opens After 20 Months Reconstruction

More than eighteen months after it was almost destroyed by an earthquake, the Ishinomori Manga Museum in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan dedicated to the life and work of famed manga creator Shotaro Ishinomori has re-opened for business.The Museum — which resembles one of Ishinomori’s space ships in terms of architecture — opened in 2001 to celebrate the creations of the manga artist, whose career lasted from 1954 through his death in 1998 and fills more than 500 individual volumes of manga. Early work included assisting Osamu Tezuka on Astro Boy, before going on to create Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009 and Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, the first Super Sentai series, which became the basis for the Power Rangers franchise in the US. If you’re thinking that Ishinomori sounds awesome, you’re right; you can start checking out some of his translated manga at comiXology.

Sadly, the Museum was heavily damaged during the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with the first floor flooded entirely and the building left without power for months as reconstruction and repair work in the area slowly progressed, but luckily, the museum’s collection of 90,000 pages of artwork remained untouched. With the exception of one event to raise funds for reconstruction and a short period where it served as a place to stay for those left homeless following the earthquake, the Museum stayed closed to the public until last month, when it finally opened its doors again, to the delight of the local community as well as manga fans worldwide.

Masatoshi Saijo, president of the company that owns and operates the museum, said that he hopes that the re-opening “put[s] a smile on the faces of children and encourage their dreams so as to restore vitality and hope to the city.” More than 4,000 visitors made it to the Museum on its first day open, leading Hiroshi Kameyama, Mayor of the city, to describe it as “a symbol of recover from the disaster.”

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