Mangaka Go Nagai to Give ¥20 Million to Quake-Hit Hometown; Hopes Manga Can Encourage Community to Build Anew

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Go Nagai talks about his hometown of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, which was badly damaged by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, at a press conference in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

Famous mangaka Go Nagai has announced that he and his company will jointly donate ¥20 million to his hometown of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, which was devastated by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake and is the location for a museum of his work.

The Go Nagai Wonderland Museum displays works from Nagai’s well-known manga, including “Mazinger Z” and “Devilman.” Located in the city’s Asaichi-dori avenue, it was among the buildings in the area that burned down in a large fire caused by the quake.

“Manga can give you energy and fulfill your hopes, especially in hard times,” Nagai, 78, told reporters in Tokyo. “By drawing manga, I’d like to convey a message of, ‘Let’s go forward.’”

Nagai was born and lived in Wajima until the summer of his first year of elementary school. After gaining fame as a mangaka, he visited the city and rediscovered its cultural depth through Wajima-nuri lacquerware and the famous Kiriko Matsuri festival.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Go Nagai Wonderland Museum in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, is seen in 2019.

The museum opened in 2009, and is operated by the city. Nagai regularly visited the facility as its honorary director and met fans at autograph sessions and other events.

The quake also affected some of Nagai’s relatives who lived in a house near the museum. It took Nagai several days to confirm their safety, and they are still living in shelters.

“Wajima has a rich natural environment, and I’ve been nurturing that in my mind. I’m rooting for the city with all my might, so I hope the people there will start building the city anew,” he said.

Items survive fire

Nagai and Dynamicproduction, the agency that manages his copyrights, announced Thursday that items he had loaned to the museum survived the fire, a fortunate outcome attributed to a fireproofing system installed at the time of construction.

According to the announcement, a Wajima city government official who manages the facility inspected the premises and confirmed that the items were unharmed, then notified Nagai’s representatives.

Nagai said Wednesday that he loaned the museum 109 items related to 11 manga, including original drawings and paintings, as well as 25 figurines and other objects.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Go Nagai holds pictures of popular characters from his manga in Tokyo on Wednesday.