When disaster strikes, there’s nothing left to do but gather your strength and start life all over again. This is a situation reminiscent of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe last 1995. To symbolize this strength, a 59-foot statue was built in full scale and has been called Tatsujin-28. It is also believed to guard the whole place from further disasters.
If you’re a big fan of vintage comics then you might have come across Gigantor, a huge flying robot controlled by an ordinary boy. Japan has a local version for that which can be seen in Tetsujin 28-go, a manga written and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama who was born in Kobe. The story is all about a robot which has been built for military reasons. It was primarily used as a super weapon to fight against evil. Together with the young boy (the son of the creator), the robot fights against other robots whose aim is to destroy the world. The Tetsujin-28 robot statue in Kobe cost 14 million dollars to build and weighs 50 tons which dwarves all the other things surrounding it. It has since attracted many tourists every day.
The earthquake caused a 7.3 tremor which shook the whole area, claiming 6,000 lives and 100 billion dollars worth of damage. The hardest hit was in Hyogo Prefecture with several aftershocks and power outages for several days. Tetsujin-28 was erected in Wakamatsu Park to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the huge earthquake. It was not only built as a symbol of revival for those who had almost lost hope in moving on but as a way of encouraging tourism. It is only a 5-minute walk from Kobe’s Shin-Nagata Station and serves as a climbing haven for children.
Tetsujin-28 Robot Statue is a great reminder that there’s always new hope in everything that happens. It doesn’t only symbolize strength but also reflects the nation’s love of manga!