Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of public transit use and urban design, as well as discussion of place identity and culture, through anime currently broadcast or screening in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. This review also documents seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 sacred site pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting)—on this website referred to collectively as anime pilgrimage—which are forms of place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.
Media and General Interest
Inbound anime pilgrimage
Mainichi Shimbun published an article of brief interviews with foreign tourists visiting Japan for anime pilgrimage.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun published an article about the popularity of seichijunrei to Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Slam Dunk among visitors from China and Taiwan.
TV Tokyo program You wa Nani Shi ni Nippon e? (YOUは何しに日本へ？ Why Did You Come to Japan?) July 9 broadcast included a segment with an American and Canadian visitor traveling to Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Love Live! Sunshine!!
Iijima seichijunrei monument
Shinano Mainichi Shimbun published an article about Iijima, Nagano Prefecture, which claims to be the birthplace of anime seichijunrei and will install a monument commemorating this at Tagiri Station, where visitors first began making pilgrimages following an OVA release of Kyūkyoku Chōjin R in 1991. @genoishi has created a phenomenal resource with the Butaitanbou Archive, creating a data trail for anime pilgrimage, but it’s still very difficult to pin down a definitive origin. Anime pilgrimage has gone by many different names and predates the internet. Situations like the Iijima claim raise questions about defining the behavior and from whose perspective assertions are made.
Numazu manhole vandalism
Arrests have been made in the case of the intentional scratching of Love Live! Sunshine!! manhole covers in Numazu. Police are investigating if this incident is linked to the second act of vandalism involving paint. Media coverage: Sankei Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Shizuoka Shinbun, Chūnichi Shimbun, Netorabo, Anime News Network
(ヤマノススメ サードシーズン Yama no Susume Sādo Shīzun)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Wareiwa-bashi (割岩橋) in Hannō, Saitama Prefecture
Yumesaika Suzuki (夢彩菓すずき) in Hannō
Tsukubasan (筑波山) in Ibaraki Prefecture
Kannonji (観音寺) in Hannō
Hannō-gawara (飯能河原), the wide and mostly dry riverbed of the Iruma-gawa (入間川)
Donkichi-bashi (とんちき橋) in Hannō Central Park (飯能中央公園)
Hannō Central Park
Hannō Ginza Shōtengai (飯能銀座商店街)
Hannō Central Park (飯能中央公園)