'Ryo-san' coin bank draws in the crowds

'Ryo-san' coin bank draws in the crowds
A popular coin bank shaped like the character Ryo-san.

A coin bank featuring the main character of the manga series "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo" (This is the police box in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward) has been selling well in its namesake district of Kameari.

Shopkeepers in the area produced the coin bank, which is shaped like Kankichi Ryotsu, or Ryo-san, the main character in the manga by Osamu Akimoto. The bank's Ryo-san is laughing in a blue police uniform.

Named Wahaha Ryo-san Zo Chokinbako (Coin bank in the shape of Ryo-san laughing), it is about 16 centimeters tall and weighs about 100 grams.

The project to make the coin bank is being led by Shogo Sato, 49, who runs a Japanese confectionery shop. An association comprising seven local shopping areas created it, and the coin banks are sold at about 10 shops that belong to the association.

Three hundred of the banks were put on sale in a trial run at the end of 2010, resulting in a flood of interest.

The association has repeatedly produced the coin banks, selling more than 2,000 so far.

Because an anime version of the manga was aired in Taiwan recently, tourists from there have been increasingly visiting the Kameari district. Many of them buy the coin banks, according to sources including the Katsushika Ward office.

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