One Piece’s Resident Archaeologist Nico Robin Gets Statue at Kumamoto Earthquake Museum

AbraxasOctober 9, 2021


The little village town of Minamiaso in Kumamoto has now got its own permanent Straw Hat resident. Today, the latest One Piece statue was unveiled at the former site of the Tokai University Aso Campus, which was heavily damaged in the Kumamoto earthquake in 2016. The campus has been renovated as the Kumamoto Earthquake Museum, making it a worthy home to the archaeologist of the Straw Hat crew, Nico Robin.





The new museum was built to help pass on the history, lessons, and warnings about earthquakes in the region and beyond. In 2016, the southern Japanese prefecture of Kumamoto was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, decimating the local towns and cities, killing 50 people. Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece and a Kumamoto city native, donated 800 million yen (US$7.5 million) to recovery efforts. 500 million yen (US$4.7 million) in Luffy’s name and 300 million (US$2.8 million) in his own. 


The prefecture returned his generosity by erected statues of all the Straw Hat crew in various areas around Kumamoto prefecture. This was done not only to thank Oda and recognize the achievements of their hometown legend but also to drive tourism to the areas hit hard by the earthquake. In August 2020, it was estimated that the Luffy statue alone in front of the Kumamoto Prefectural Office in Kumamoto City had brought in an economic value of 2,671,970,000 yen (US$25,069,357) to the region, far outweighing the 10 million yen (US$93,833) cost per statue.


A live stream was held for the unveiling of the Robin statue, with the Mayor of Minamiaso, a small village with a population of just a little over 10,000, giving a speech and the Minamiaso Junior High Brass Band playing a rendition of the iconic One Piece opening “We Are!”


The stream starts at 34:55


During the stream, it is noted that due to COVID-19 prevention measures, no guests were able to be invited to the unveiling, which is why they live-streamed the event for One Piece fans all around the world. Though Hiroyuki Nakano, the editor of Weekly Shonen Jump, made his way down to Kumamoto to give a speech as well as reveal an illustration of Robin that was drawn exclusively for the unveiling. 





Currently nine One Piece statues have been constructed or are in the process of being constructed in Kumamoto, with Luffy in front of the Kumamoto Prefectural Office in Kumamoto City, Sanji in Mashiki Town, Usopp in Aso City in front of the JR station, Chopper in the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Brook at the Dinosaur Park in Mifune, Franky in front of Takamori Station in Takamori, Nami at Moe no Sato in Aso, and finally the newest unveiling of Robin at the Kumamoto Earthquake Museum in Minamiaso. Zoro will be the next statue to be erected in Ozu Central Park at some point in the future.


Sources: One Piece on Twitter, One Piece on YouTube


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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram

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