Anime star Doraemon to have own museum

Doraemon, the magical robot cat who has been a staple of Japanese manga, animated television shows and movies since 1969, is to be the star of a new museum.

The iconic blue beast is the best-loved of all the creations of manga artist Fujiko F. Fujio, who died in 1996, and will serve as the face of the museum, which opens to the public on September 3.

The museum is in the city of Kawasaki, just to the south of Tokyo, and was where he lived from 1961. Fujiko F. Fujio was the pen name of Hiroshi Fujimoto, who who collaborated with Moto Abiko - known as Fujiko Fujio (A) - for 36 years from 1951.

Doraemon will not be the only inhabitant of the museum, however, as Fujio was a prolific storyteller over the course of his career.

The other characters that will be represented include Perman, Mojacko, Ume-boshi Denka and Esper Mami.
More than 50,000 original drawing by the artist will be on display, as well as a wide selection of his cameras, plastic models and books. Part of the museum, which will be spread over 3,700 square meters on three floors, will be an exact reproduction of Fujio's studio.

"I am happy to be able to compile my husband's original drawings in one place without separating them," Fujiko's wife, Masako Fujimoto, said in a speech at the recent press preview. "I would like fans who have supported him for a long time to receive our deep gratitude."

Another feature that the developers were keen to retain from the Doraemon tales was the "usual vacant lot," recreated on the roof, while the menu at the neighboring restaurant will draw heavily on Fujio's narratives.

The Doraemon tales have won numerous awards over the years, including the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award in 1997, and the blue cat has been adopted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry to act as the nation's first "anime ambassador."

Access to the museum is by prior reservation only. Entry is at a set time, four times a day. For further information, visit http://fujiko-museum.com/english/.

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