Tennis Article

Osaka Inspires Manga Character

Osaka Inspires Manga Character Photo: TT
Osaka Inspires Manga Character

Naomi Osaka is a superstar in Japan, And the 23-year old tennis player has just received one of the ultimate accolades by inspiring a Manga character based on her.

Manga are graphic novels which originated in Japan in the 19th century and are read by people of all ages in the country. They cover all types of genre and, in recent years, have become increasingly popular with Western audiences as well.

The character Naomi Tenkaichi will appear for the first time in Nakayoshi, one of Japans most respected manga magazines, in their December 28th issue.

Osaka and her sister Mari both grew up reading manga, and Mari has had a had in the creation of the new character, which, like Osaka herself is bi-racial.

She was born toa Japanese mother and a Haitian father in Japan, but the family moved to the Unite States when she was just three, and she was raised and grew up there. She was granted US citizenship but last year, chose to renounce it sop she could play for Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, she is not fluent in the language and tends to answer questions in English.

Like her the Manga character is half- Japanese and half-Haitian.

This is not the first time that the worlds highest paid athlete has inspired a cartoon character. Noodle company Nissin though ran into trouble when they depicted her with light skin and light brown hair, downplaying her racial heritage.

Osaka has increasing emphasised her identity as a person of colour, and with drew from her semi-final at the Cincinnati Open to protest against police violence in the US against Black Americans, only to change her mind again.

Then she wore a new mask during every round of the US Open bearing the name of an alleged victim of racial violence in the US.

She has not played since her victory in the US.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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