The hometown of celebrated manga illustrator Osamu Tezuka is to be promoted by one of his most well-known creations.
Ribon no Kishi (Princess Knight) will be involved in a number of events aimed at attracting tourists to the area of Takarazuka, reports Kyodo News.
The character will be played by two students from Kyoto
University and Osaka
University, who were selected from dozens of applicants and will wear costumes to represent the princess.
One of the students, Hiroko Sadato, told the news provider: "I will cheer up Takarazuka."
Her colleague Ayuko Sogo remarked: "I will play this big role with a big smile."
They will both be involved in a range of promotional activities which will be held until 2011.
Mr Tezuka began his manga career in 1946 creating illustrations for a publication aimed at children.
Fans of manga visiting the Japanese capital Tokyo
may want to stop off at the Mandarake retail outlet, which offers everything from anime models to manga comics. Written by Mike Cotgreave
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