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Street Fighter Manhole Covers in Kashihara City

Kashihara City x Street Fighter!


Kashihara City is currently hosting a collaboration with Capcom's popular fighting game series, "Street Fighter."  If you go to Kintetsu Yamato-Yagi Station, you can find statues of Ryu and Chun-Li, designer manholes, and flags featuring game characters! For those who forged a kinship  with Street Fighter II, this is a dream come true. If you love unique aspects of Japanese culture, this is for you too.


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Why Kashihara City and Capcom?

This collaboration stems from the fact that Capcom's founder, Kenzo Tsujimoto, is from Kashihara City. In 1995, Kashihara commemorated the 1300th anniversary of Fujiwara-kyo or when Kaishihara held the imperial throne. Capcom had a pavilion at the Romantopia Fujiwara-kyo '95 event which held a screening of the anime-inspired Street Fighter .Moving it up a notch, this is a collaboration covering the entire Street Fighter series. The first Street Fighter game was released in 1987, and Street Fighter II, released on Nintendo Famicon SNES in 1992, became a massive hit leading the fighting game boom. The latest instalment, Street Fighter 6, was released in 2023 and remains highly popular.


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Two years ago in  2022, marking the 35th anniversary of Street Fighter, Kashihara City—the second-biggest city in Nara—signed a comprehensive partnership agreement with Capcom. Besides statues and designer manholes, it covers other things such as special school lunch menus, and original moped license plates.


Take In the Power of Ryu and Chun-Li

The face of the series is Ryu, and his statue stands in front of the Kashihara Navi Plaza near Kintetsu Yamato-Yagi Station. Behind it, various mascot characters like Nara's Sento-kun and Kashihara's Kodai-chan and Sarara-chan add to the power of this unique collaboration.

The statue is of Chun-Li, the original and sole female character, and she guards the east entrance of the Kashihara City Hall Annex, just across the road. Her fierce expression and muscular thighs are unabashedly impressive.  A statue of Ken Masters, Ryu’s best buddy and friendly rival will be installed on the approach to Kashihara Shrine by October as the third statue in this series. The fourth statue is to be decided.



These stunning statues and artistic manholes were funded through local government crowdfunding activities. The production cost of 5.5 million yen is covered by donations from four companies within the city. There are plans for one more statue to be erected.



Instagram Your Favorite Street Fighter Manhole!

If you want that ultimate manhole pic to rock your social media, you can find Ryu and Chun-Li near the Yamato-Yagi Station rotary. Just keep your nose to the ground! The Ryu manhole is decidedly dapper and avant-garde while the design for  Chun-Li captures the chicness of Asian beauty. The third manhole, seen at the central ticket gate of Kintetsu Kashihara-Jingu-Mae Station, features characters from the original anime screened in 1995. There are even plans to remaster this anime in HD.




Flags and Murals

Near Chun-Li's statue and design manhole, are 18 collaboration flags featuring characters from Street Fighter 6. Look for your favorite characters like Blanca and Guile.


On the north side of Kintetsu Yamato-Yagi Station, there’s a mural created by teachers and students from Nara University of the Arts. These show Street Fighter characters actually visiting famous spots in Kashihara City. Don’t miss Ryu performing a Hadouken at the Fujiwara Palace ruins!




Limited editions of just 260 Street Fighter number plates, designed by Capcom, were issued for scooters in the summer of 2023. Although probably all gone by now, one design features a solitary Ryu, while the other shows him in the signature Hadoken move delivering a blast of cosmic energy to his rival Ken. If you’re lucky, one such scooter may pass you by.



The Power of Capcom and Kashihara

Capcom’s ’comprehensive agreement’ with Kashihara City aims to promote local tourism and revitalization the Street Fighter series, among other things. The collaboration was announced on August 30, 2022,  and hopes to boost economic development, cultural awareness, prevention education, and election participation. The agreement was initiated by Kashihara City to leverage Capcom's IP in attracting diverse demographics and supporting the city's bid for World Heritage site recognition. Activities include collaborative posters and an HD remaster of a Street Fighter film. This initiative aligns with Capcom's philosophy of sustainable growth and societal contribution. (Source: Capcom official site)



Here's a map showing where all the attractions can be found.




 

Author: NARA Visitor Center & Inn


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