Japanese city honors Ultraman with four statues

The city of Sukagawa, Japan, is honoring hometown hero Ultraman with not one but four statues.

The star of a 1960s television series as well as multiple manga and anime series, Ultraman is the brainchild of Sukagawa native Eiji Tsuburaya, and the city has erected four statues -- of Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Gomora and Eleking -- on the street where he once lived.

The installation marks the second anniversary of Sukagawa's sister-city relationship with the Land of Light, Ultraman's homeland in the series, and city officials are hoping that the statues will put the city on the map for tourists, especially Ultraman fans.

Sukagawa is located in Fukushima Prefecture, less than 50 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was damaged in the earthquake. "When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, we had citizens who helped many others rather than dwelling on their own personal disasters," said Sukagawa Mayor Katsuya Hashimoto. "I want our city to be full of such citizens who embody the Ultraman spirit."

Viz Media announced last month that it will publish the latest Ultraman series, by Linebarrels of Iron creators Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi.

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