Ohio is celebrating the popularity of Japanese anime by hosting conventions across the state. It hosted its first anime convention this year for over three days in Columbus back in late January featuring conversations about recent anime/manga series, contests, and photo shoots. Ohio will host nine more conventions in the cities of Akron, Bowling Green, Oregon, Sandusky, Toledo, West Portmouth, and Columbus.
The huge number of conventions strongly reflects their strong relationship with Japan. “Ohio has a total of 15 sister cities with Japan, including a 37 year relationship between Cincinnati and Gifu, in Gifu Prefecture. These relationships have led to several bilateral visits and cultural exchanges between Japan and Ohio over the years(Xu, page 1).”
Anime has largely contributed to many young people interest in the language. This will motivate more young people to attend these conventions and become more immersed in the culture. Many people are interested in Japanese culture, but do not have the financial means to travel there. Therefore, one solution would be to bring the culture to them.
In addition, Ohio has strong economic ties with Japan. It has several Japanese car manufacturing plants and currently has eleven plants in six cities.
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