Historic Ninja Town receives ancient weapon donation from manga artist

The Japanese town of Kudoyama, a small town in Wakayama Prefecture, has just received a huge collection of real ninja artifacts from a manga artist.


as reported by asahi shimbunoManga artist Sobe Amako, best known for his series Rakudai Ninja Rantaro (lit. failure ninja rantaro), donated a large amount of ninja artifacts to Kudoyama for display at the Kudoyama Sanada Museum. The Kudoyama Sanada Museum is dedicated to Sanada Masayuki, a Sengoku-era chieftain who lived in Kudoyama after his exile. The Sanda clan regularly employed ninjas. Amako’s donation was facilitated by her acquaintance, Honorary Museum Director Hiroshi Kitagawa.

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Amako’s collection includes over 500 exclusive artworks in over 200 categories. He has donated everything from shuriken to kunai, and the collection includes a matchbox gun and a sword. Amako initially intended to gift the collection to his hometown of Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, but the city government was unable to accept. Because of his pre-existing relationship with Kitagawa, and because of Kudoyama’s ninja history, he chose to send the artifacts where they were prepared for display at the time of writing.

Amako says he collected many of his works from historian Yumio Nava several decades ago, but his collection has grown significantly since then. He mainly used them as references for his manga, as his works often focused on ninjas. His most popular title, Rakudai Ninja Rantaro, follows a Sengoku-era ninja in training, so artifacts from around the Sengoku era that deal with ninjas make useful references. Amako says he is glad his collection has reached where it did. In her words, as reported by The Asahi Shimbun, “I am very pleased that I can entrust the collection to a nice place belonging to the ninja.”

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Amako’s large-scale donation to Kudoyama (and, later, to the Kudoyama Sanada Museum) calls to mind a recent similar donation made by a manga collector. Takanobu Tsuge, 67, fans of Astro Boy Producer Osamu Tezuka recently donated a vast collection of Tezuka memorabilia to the Hashima Movie Museum, containing items related to many of the artist’s most beloved works. The museum used Tsuge’s collection as a centerpiece for a festive celebration. Astro BoyIt’s 70th anniversary. While the Osamu Tezuka manga may be a significantly more recent artwork than the Sengoku-era matchlocks, both Tsuge and Amako have made major cultural contributions to their respective museums.

Amako’s collection will be on display at the Kudoyama Sanada Museum.

Source: asahi shimbuno

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