For ten years, a spaceship has been parked in the port of tsunami-hit Ishinomaki. The locals don`t mind though. Inside the 3 storey landmark is a museum dedicated to the works of local man, Shotaro Ishinomori, the `king of manga`.
The Mangattan Museum, as it`s called, was opened to add tourism to traditional industries of fishing and agriculture. Unfortunately, over 5 metres of seawater raced through the first floor on March 11th and the building is still without electricity or gas. No re-opening date has been set yet.
When it does re-open, I want to go – Ishinomori had some great ideas. Walking outside the museum three weeks ago, I discovered a statue of Robocon – one of his most famous creations. Robocon is a loyal and spirited but brainless robot, struggling to make his way through robot school in 1970`s Japan.
Just watching the opening credits of his 1970`s TV show, uploaded below, will charm anyone.
Robocon proably isn`t clever enough to take over from the Short Circuit-type robots working at the Fukushima nuclear plant, but he has more guts than them. The con in his name comes from the Japanese word konjo, meaning guts or courage.
Robocon`s statue was dirtied but not destroyed by the tsunami. His guts are still providing inspiration as you can see below in the headline image taken from the town blog.