Osaka entertainment district gears up for a new century
News On Japan via Asahi -- Jul 25
A muscle-bound local hero is leading the charge in the makeover of the Shinsekai district of Osaka, one of the most popular entertainment areas of the city.
Shinsekai in Naniwa Ward, which lies next to the humble Kamagasaki district where day-laborers concentrate, has retained the distinct flavor of a working-class neighborhood. But visitor numbers have declined and shops and restaurants have been shuttered.
However, thanks to a campaign organized by local leaders and merchants, young crowds and women are coming back to Shinsekai to get a taste of the local specialty, "kushikatsu" (fried cutlets on a skewer), or take in the town's "Showa retro" feel that brings back memories of the 1960s and '70s.
On July 3, a sizable crowd braved the rain to view the unfurling of a colorful banner proudly announcing the 100th anniversary of Shinsekai.
About 150 guests, including local merchants and shop keepers, attended the ceremony at a hall in the basement of Tsutenkaku Tower, a symbol of the district.
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