The small village of Minamiaso in Kumamoto can look forward to a new resident because recently a bronze statue of Nico Robin from the series One Piece was inaugurated. Some pictures, as well as a video of the ceremony, can be found further down in this article.
Statue as a thank you to Eiichiro Oda
The statue stands on the former campus of Tokai University, which was severely damaged in a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2016. The campus has been renovated as the “Kumamoto Earthquake Museum”, offering archaeologist Nico Robin a worthy home.
The earthquake devastated several villages and towns in Kumamoto Prefecture in 2016, killing 50 people. Eiichiro Oda, who grew up in the prefecture, donated 800 million yen (about 6.1 million euros) to rebuild after the disaster.
The prefecture retaliated by placing statues of straw hats in various places, such as at the Zoological Garden in Kumamoto City. In addition to thanking Oda, this was also done to boost tourism in the village, which was badly hit by the earthquake.
In August 2020, it was estimated that the statue of Luffy alone in front of the Kumamoto Prefecture Office of the region brought in an economic value of about 2.6 billion yen (about 20.3 million euros), which exceeds the cost of the statue of 10 million yen (about 76,000 euros).