Playstation 2 and Wii owners will likely be familiar with Ōkami, the adventure game set in ancient Japan that features an absolutely gorgeous wood-cut, cell-shaded graphic design.
The game puts players in control of the wolf incarnation of Shintō goddess Amaterasu, and quests them with using a magical, life-giving paintbrush to transform a dark, cursed world into one of plants, trees and flowers, as well as battling a few demons and evil spirits along the way.
On the same theme of restoration, a local website based in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town in Iwate prefecture severely damaged by the March 11 tsunami, has launched a special range of products officially backed by Capcom, the makers of Ōkami, with profits from their sale going to towards rebuilding the town and, much like the game, “restoring nature to its once beautiful state.”
- The Miracle Pine
As the wall of water swept across the land on March 3, 2011, Rikuzentakata’s once famous shoreline, which was home to as many as 70,000 pine trees, was transformed into a desolate wasteland. Even the once proud pine trees were ripped from the ground and smashed into by the water, carrying, boats, cars and other debris.
Incredibly, a single pine tree was left standing after the water retreated, and quickly became known as the “miracle pine.”
Upon hearing of the high-definition release of Ōkami Zekkei-ban (lit. “superb view version”) on Sony’s Playstation 3, representatives from Rikuzentakata approached Capcom with their idea to produce a range of traditional, locally-made products featuring the distinct Ōkami design as a part of the town’s relief effort.
With the game company’s full support, a range of products under the banner of Matsubara Monogatari (lit. “Pinegrove Tale”) has been created, complete with special Ōkami-themed packaging that feature the town’s Miracle Pine as if drawn by the game’s heroine herself.
- Inviting fortune back to Rikuzenkata
Sold via the town’s 福呼う Fukkou (meaning “calling fortune” and a play on the word 復興 fukkou or “revival”) online store, these traditional imoyoukan sweet bean-paste bars are sure to give your soul a lift as well as satisfy your stomach. The texture is firm yet soft, and just begs to be bitten into like, well, a hungry wolf!
Rikuzentakata’s residents are hoping that, through their collaboration with Capcom, and perhaps with a little help from Amaterasu herself, the town will soon be back on its feet, but they still need your support.
- Save Takata
As well as these wagashi traditional Japanese sweets, a number of locally-produced Ōkami products including soy sauce, rice-wine, dipping sauce and even t-shirts are available via the town’s special store (links below).
Featuring both the town’s Miracle Pine and Amaterasu in a magnificent pose, we’re huge fans of the t-shirts especially, and think that anyone who’s played the Ōkami games, or simply those who like Japanese culture in general, would be proud to wear one.
Bravo to Capcom for getting involved in such a good cause, and well done to all of those working on the site. We hope that we can rely on some of our awesome RocketNews24 readers to lend a hand, too; there are some perfect Japanophile Christmas presents here, if you ask us!
▼Traditional Japanese sweets meet awesome packaging
▼Coolest rice-wine we’ve ever seen, anyway!
▼Not your ordinary soy sauce…
Pon-su‘s joing the party, too!
[ Read in Japanese ]