James Bond is an internationally popular fictional character who has won the hearts of many audiences. His popularity has even spread across Japan to the point that a museum was built for him. The museum was not literally built out of love for the character but as a way of hoping the next Bond film to be made would be based on the novel, “The Man with the Red Tattoo.”
In anticipation of the film’s next location, the wishful act of building the museum was started. It was after the island of Naoshima (an island in the Seto Inland Sea) was mentioned in the novel written by Raymond Benson that the actual attempt to get Hollywood’s attention took place. It had the hopes of being adapted into a film thus several pieces of James Bond memorabilia were brought, assembled and put on display. The museum was finally opened in 2005 when it was visited by many locals and tourists.
The museum was considered to be part of the campaign to have the book made into a movie. It displays a lot of James-Bond-related books, models, and posters. Some things were a bit promotional in nature such as Benson’s notes on his island research.
The story line of the book has been summarized on a wall with all of the Bond locations listed, in addition to the Bond girls, gadgets and villains. It is available both in English and Japanese. There are also several posters and other paraphernalia from the actual Bond movie, “You Only Live Twice” which was set in Japan.
A stand-up figure of James Bond knocking down a villain can be found in the museum where you can put your face in and take a picture. There are some abstract flourishes to the museum such as a bleeding heart sculpture which is an artwork featured in Benson’s book.
Despite the effort done on the museum, The Man with the Red Tattoo was never made into a movie. However, if you want to visit the place, it is just a short walk from Miyanoura Ferry Terminal. It offers free access and is daily open from 9 am to 5 pm.
007 Museum Website (Japanese only)