As folks here may recall, I am a fan of a certain manga called Space Brothers in Japan. There’s no English translation, but I read in Japanese to help my own language learning.
Anyhow, I was in the US when they made a live-action movie for this series, so I didn’t get to see it. However, on our wonderful flight from Seattle to Tokyo, via ANA, I was happy to see that they had Space Brothers as one of the movies to watch. I wasn’t expecting too much from the movie because book to movie translations usually aren’t very good. However, it was a very fun and touching movie. Like the manga, it’s a very positive and moving story, and I highly recommend it.
My wife watched it too and liked it a lot, especially the child actors who played Hibito and Mutta. They were great. Plus Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was in the movie which was a surprise.
Also, recently, my sister-in-law in Japan sent me a couple shirts by Uniqlo for the movie:
I was happy to get the shirts, and wore them a couple times in Seattle at work. Since few Americans have read Space Brothers, they probably didn’t understand the shirt, but I didn’t really care. For the trip to Japan, I brought the white shirt to Japan as well.
Anyhow, yesterday, after meeting a certain blog reader for lunch yesterday (Hi Rev. E!), we went to Takashimaya to do some shopping. Takashimaya is a swanky department store, and there is one in Futako-Tamagawa which is somewhat close to where my wife’s home is.1
Coincidentally, they were having a space-exhibition for kids there, and this was a collaboration between JAXA (Japan’s version of NASA) and the publishers of Space Brothers. So we decided to go.
The exhibition was great, with lots of interesting things to see. I learned a lot of Japanese astronomy terms (e.g. 光年 means “light-year” as in 一光年、１０光年, etc.), but at the end, there was a section featuring art from Space Brothers, including some autographs from the author, Koyama Chūya (小山 宙哉):
The words Mutta is saying are to cheer on Astronaut Hoshide Akihiko.
Now, speaking of coincidence, I was wearing the white shirt above, even though we didn’t know there would be an exhibit that day. I just picked it by chance. Anyhow, at the exhibition there weren’t many foreigners there, and the ones who were there seemed bored. But when the staff saw me, with my Space Brothers shirt, they obviously noticed I was a fan. 😉 They pointed out the autographs above and encouraged I take a photo. I was a bit embarrassed (I am not that much of a fan!), but I was really grateful for the opportunity.
Speaking of encouraging Astronauto Hoshide, kids could write letters to him also, and my daughter drew a picture of an astronaut, and wrote がんばれ. It was really cute.
Anyhow, I am writing this in haste, but it was a day of funny coincidences.
1 Takashimaya makes shopping malls in Seattle look kind of sad. It’s bright, clean, has great service, good (not cheap) food, and plenty of options. The only other place we’ve seen such fine shopping is Harrod’s in London. We still have a nice porcelain mug from Harrod’s at home, but I washed it in the dish-washer one time and the gold-leaf came off. Oops. :p