Gotham City, the famous setting of the Batman series, including the upcoming film "The Batman," has officially entered into a sister city relationship in the real world: Fukuyama City in Hiroshima Prefecture. This is the first city in the history of the series and the first city in the world to receive this honor.
So why Fukuyama? In 2022, Fukuyama City is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the construction of Fukuyama Castle, located in a mountain which was originally known as 蝙蝠山 komori yama or "bat mountain." Since the 蝙 kanji in 蝙蝠 komori (bat) is similar to the kanji 福 fuku, meaning "good fortune," the castle town was named 福山 Fukuyama.
So, in 1917, when the city decided to design an emblem, Fukuyama paid homage to these roots by creating an emblem in the shape of a bat and a mountain.
The original Batman TV series aired in Japan in the 1960s, and American comics fans have enjoyed Batman in translation since the late 1980s. According to the press release, some residents of Fukuyama City noted the resemblance between the Batman logo and their city's emblem.
With the movie "The Batman" to be released in Japanese theaters nationwide on March 11th this year, Fukuyama City decided the timing was right to make a bold move by creating a new bond with the Batman series.
The signing ceremony officializing the sister city relationship was held Monday at the Warner Bros Japan G.K. office in Tokyo and attended by Tomohiro Doai, Vice President, CMO at Warner Brothers Japan, Fukuyama City Mayor Naotake Edahiro, and as a guest, Fukuyama native Jun Fukuyama, voice actor and supporter of the 400th anniversary of the construction of Fukuyama Castle.
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