The number of visitors to the Noshiro Basketball Museum in Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture, which appeals to the city of basketball, is increasing rapidly. The trigger was the release of an animated film based on the popular manga “Slam Dunk.”
Among fans, a high school in the same city was used as a model for the powerful basketball club in the play, and the popularity of the pilgrimage to the sacred place was ignited. Fans from South Korea and Taiwan also visit.
The basketball club of Noshiro Kogyo High School (currently Noshiro Science and Technology High School) in Noshiro City, located in the northern part of the prefecture, boasts 58 national titles, and the city advocates basketball as a city.
The Museum, which opened in 2012, contains materials related to the late Hiroshi Kato, who coached the club for many years, Yuta Tabuse, who was a member of the club and became the first Japanese professional NBA player in the United States, and Takehiko Inoue, the creator of Slam Dunk. His autograph is on display.
In 2010, about 4,300 people visited the Museum, but this year, more than 2,300 people visited in May alone, a record high for a single month.