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A Moe Boom for a Small Japanese Country Town

The small town of Ugo in Akita Prefecture, like many small Japanese towns, struggles with graying and depopulation. In the past ten years alone, the town’s population declined ten percent. But it has found a remarkable solution to its problems, it has given the town a moe takeover. Wikipedia describes moe as a Japanese slang word originally referring to fetish or love for characters in video games or anime and manga. Local products are now sold in packages that feature bishojo illustrations. The effect was amazing. Sale of rice, for example, doubled. Interestingly, a young man interviewed in the clip didn’t buy the rice to eat it. He displays the bag of rice in his room, next to his huge collection of anime figures…

Asahi TV • Tuesday January 27, 2009 • Trends