Welcome again to JJNN for Sunday July 27th, 2008. Today we will be taking about and old Japanese comic book artist.
This year is the 80th anniversary of the birth of a man called Tezuka Osamu. Tezuka Osamu is a Japanese animator and comic book artist who created many famous characters. His most famous character is probably Astro Boy (The Mighty Atom or tetsuwan atom). You might not know the name, but you have probably seen the character around. Here is a picture.
Every year in the beginning of August in Nara (a city in southern Japan) an event called Nara Toukae. This year it will go on from August 5th to 14th. The point of the event is making giant art with candles. They set up the candles and than light them at night to create pictures with the fire. This is a picture of what it looks like from the ground.
So, what does this have to do with Tezuka Osamu? Well as a test for this years Nara Toukae they decided to created fire art as a tribute to Tezuka Osamu. They made giant candle art featuring a character from one of his stories called "Hi no Tori." The name of that work literally means "Fire Bird." I can't think of anything better to make out of the light from the candle fire. You can see a picture of the art below.
It is made with just about 3500 candles. In the background you can see two famous Nara landmarks: Todaiji and Nandaimon. The art itself is in Nara Park. Beautiful, isn't it?
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 火の鳥(ひのとり). It is pronounced Hi no Tori and means Fire Bird. I don't really know a lot about the comic book, but I would assume that the "fire bird" is actually a phoenix. That is the English name of that comic book. If you are interested you can check it out here.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.