Two extra large panels displaying characters from the popular manga series, One Piece, will greet the passengers arriving at the Aso Kumamoto Airport’s domestic terminal
One panel features a 5.8-meter-high and 3.2-meter-wide original illustration of eight of the “Straw Hat Pirates,” including protagonist Luffy. While the other one, a 3.9 m high and 28.8 m wide panel, portrays a map of where the Kumamoto Prefectural Government is installing bronze statues of them.
Eiichiro Oda, the author of One Piece, a Kumamoto native, has provided the illustrations for the panels. They are also a part of the “3rd ONE PIECE Kumamoto Revival Project”.
The prefectural government spent 2.5 million yen (about $22,000) to erect the panels. The images are printed on vinyl chloride boards and will remain on display for at least two years.
Recently, a bronze statue of Straw Hats archaeologist Nico Robin was unveiled on Oct 9, 2021, as a part of the Kumamoto Restoration Project.
Before Robin, the government unveiled statues of Franky, Chopper, Luffy, Brook, and Nami in Oda’s hometown. Zoro’s statue is set to be unveiled next.
On April 16, 2016, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped through Kumamoto prefecture causing massive damage to the area. Approximately, the earthquake did over $5 billion of damage, leveling homes, businesses, and several important historical sites.