Japanese Muggles Love Harry Potter!

July 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm 1 comment

Last week we suggested picking up some books by Haruki Murakami for your summer reading pleasure. But the biggest publishing event this year belongs, of course, to The Boy Who Lived: Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 7th and final book in J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular teen wizard series, hits bookshelves at midnight this Friday, and anticipation is very high throughout the U.S. You may not be surprised to hear excitement is equally high in Japan. In fact, the film version of the 5th book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) chose to hold its world premiere in Japan on June 28th this year – nearly two full weeks before it opened in Great Britain or the U.S.

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According to the Associated Press, it was the right decision: “Hundreds of young Japanese fans, wearing witch costumes and holding magic wands, screamed as Daniel Radcliffe, who played the teenage Harry, appeared as white smoke spewed on the stage.”

That was nothing compared to the reception Daniel Radcliffe received at a Japanese High School, where he was treated like one of the Beatles and presented with gifts!

So what will fans of the series do after this weekend, when no further written adventures await them?

First, they can take heart in the fact that J.K. Rowling plans to release a Harry Potter Encyclopedia in the future; all proceeds from the book will go to charity.

Second, fans of Japanese artwork and fan-fiction can find homemade Harry Potter material here. Known as doujinshi, or self-published manga, some of them are absolutely gorgeous and definitely worth a look!

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Culture, Japanese Entertainment.

Chop-sticking it to the Man American TV, Big in Japan

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