Sengen-en Museum in Kagoshima have partnered with manga publisher Shonen Gahosha to offer a virtual tour exploring over 60 pieces of artwork from Kouta Hirano’s Drifters manga, in honour of 450 years since the death of Shimazdu Toyohisa, the Sengoku period samurai who was fictionalised as the protagonist of the dark fantasy series. The event will also include a tour of the historic house lived in by the real-life Shimazdu clan, and a display of the sword styles featured in Drifters. The virtual tour will be a one-off event on Sunday 20th September and will take place between 17:00 – 18:30 JST (09:00 – 10:30am BST). A place on the tour costs 3,000 yen (approx. £21.46 at time of writing – check currency rates when booking).
The tour will be guided by experts who will be on-hand during the event to showcase the history of the Shimazdu clan, and answer as many questions as they can from visitors. They are Iwakawa Takuo, a historian and anime fan who was born and raised in Kagoshima, and Alex Bradshaw, Shimadzu Limited’s Head of Overseas business, who has studied traditional swordsmanship and even demonstrated martial arts for the Crown Prince of Japan, and translated many works about Japanese culture. The tour will include a rare display of the Taisha-ryu and Jigen-ryu sword styles – the first time time in 416 years that they have been displayed together at the Shimazda residence, as well as a chance to learn how the Shimazda clan fared after the Battle of Sekigahara and how the family has continued into its 32nd generation.
The event will also include Suburau, a display of art and artefacts relating to traditional martial arts and culture, from calligraphy, manga, and even a replica of the armour thought to have been worn by Toyohisa at the fateful Battle of Sekigahara. You can find out more about the virtual tour, and book your place, at Sengen-en’s website.
Universal Pictures, who released Hoods Entertainment’s 2016 anime adaptation on Blu-ray and DVD, describe Drifters as:
Shimazu Toyohisa, a samurai from the historical Battle of Sekigahara, was moments from death when he stepped through a door. Transported to a world both like and unlike his own, he finds himself in a new war—but he is not alone. By his side, Japan’s most notable historical figures Oda Nobunaga and Nasu no Yoichi will join him in this new world at war as they take on the role of “Drifters.”
Kouta Hirano’s Drifters manga is published in English by Dark Horse Comics.
Source: Press release from Sengen-en.