ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--For fans of "Kamen Rider" and numerous comic books, Nov. 17 was a date on the calendar like no other.
It marked the reopening of the Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum, which is devoted to the works of the late manga giant Shotaro Ishinomori.
Anime fans thronged the facility, which had been shut for repairs due to extensive damage caused by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
The museum is located near the mouth of the old Kitakamigawa river that runs through the city.
Last year's disaster left the building inundated with water almost up to the ceiling of the first floor. The building was also used to accommodate uprooted survivors of the calamity.
Despite extensive damage to the building, original manga manuscripts and other display materials were kept safe.
"We want to put a smile on the faces of children and encourage their dreams so as to restore vitality and hope to the city," said Masatoshi Saijo, president of the company that operates the museum.
Ishinomori was born in Ishinomori town, now part of Tome city, in Miyagi Prefecture. The museum was established in Ishinomaki in 2001.
Officials at the time noted that Ishinomori frequented movie theaters in the city when he attended junior and senior high school in Ishinomaki.
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