‘Suraj: The Rising Star’ Realized Cool Japan - Lecture by Mr. Koga from Kodansha in Vancouver

‘Suraj: The Rising Star’ Realized Cool Japan - Lecture by Mr. Koga from Kodansha in Vancouver

Yoshiaki Koga from International Business Division of Kodansha

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 Mr. Yoshiaki Koga, manager of International business division of Kodansha, had a lecture at The Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites (1763 Comox Street) in Vancouver on August 26th. He is also a magazine chief editor of ‘Courrier Japon,’ which planned and realized broadcast of Indian version of ‘Star of the Giants’ (Indian title ‘Suraj: The Rising Star’).

 It was very difficult to ask for internal help as well as to have some companies sponsored to raise money before realizing the broadcast. He had faced some sorts of troubles and difficulties and needed to overcome other people against him. ‘Broadcast “by” the autumn’ by utilizing media to get sponsors. There were no sponsors to help him, but he was careful with his words, ‘I’m “choosing” sponsors.’ He behaved as if he would have ‘accomplished to release the anime’ and faced a challenge to broadcast the anime with no return.

 ‘60th diplomatic relations between Japan and India’ encouraged his plan, but he still encountered several difficulties in production. ‘Suraj: The Rising Star,’ an Indian version of ‘Star of the Giants,’ was localized and remade to collaborate with Japan and India, to respect Indian culture, not to export the original anime as it was, and not to be far away from the original images. Some of the changes were made, such as baseball into a national sport in India ‘cricket,’ overturning chabudai (short-legged table) into ‘overturning a table’ with no food on it, ‘cast to throw balls like Major Leaguer’ into bicycle ‘tire tube,’ no sake, and long skirt. The anime, which was remade drastically and localized, was broadcast for 18 hours per week in India, where there are 700 channels on TV. Viewer rate is around 0.2 and the anime has a strong showing.

 There are 20 official languages spoken and the population is more than 1.2 billion in India. India is an attractive market for anime as the population of young people occupies almost half. It is said that world population playing cricket is about 2 billion. Mr. Koga said, ‘The anime is broadcast in Hindi now, but I want to have the anime multi-localized in Tamil and Bengali. There are many people from Punjab lived in Vancouver, so I want to broadcast the anime in Canada and other countries with the center focused on India.’

 Mr. Koga realized the plan and production of ‘Suraj: The Rising Star’ with passion and power even though people around him considered it a ‘dreamy idea’ and mocked. Mr. Koga said, ‘It’s time that Japanese culture like food and fashion is exporting more near future. I want to cooperate with Japanese companies and let many people know about Japanese culture.’ Mr. Koga finished his lecture to give the word, ‘A real man faces a challenge once he decides, and overcomes it with power.’ Japanese chorus group warmly sang the theme song at the back of the venue.

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)