As India gets ready for the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League, the sport received a surprise publicity in the form of a Manga comic. As the name Shakunetsu Kabaddi would suggest, the Manga revolves around the sport that has achieved a sensational rise in fame in India in the past few years thanks to the glitzy franchise based tournament, the Pro Kabaddi League. The publishers of the Manga are Shogakukan, who are behind some of the more famous mangas.
Masayuki Shimokawa, the captain of Japanese Kabaddi team shared the cover of the Manga on his Instagram profile. The cover features a kabaddi player trying to touch the mid-line. Needless to say, not only the Manga underlines the rising popularity of the sport among the Japanese, but it also brings to light the sport's deep historical links with the Japanese culture.
Get 5 #kabaddi#comics######A post shared by Masayuki Shimokawa (@36kevin) on Jul 18, 2017 at 2:12am PDT
The manga is one of the most popular mediums in Japan that has seen tremendous growth in the last 70 years of the country's history. The popularity of Mangas isn't merely limited to the country of its origin and thanks to its fascinating plots bringing together multiple motifs related to the Japanese culture, it has found love and admiration in other parts of the world including India and the West as well. Given the traditional charm of the sport in India and coupled with its rising popularity, the manga is sure to find a healthy number of takers in India.
The performances of the team since that high of 2007 have been a little underwhelming. However, the team did show signs of improvement in the recently held Kabaddi World Cup in India where they gave a good account of themselves and came close to causing an upset against the eventual finalists Iran before bowing out in the group stage. The team has also been a regular in the Asian Kabaddi tournaments.
Japanese representation on the Pro Kabaddi stage hasn't been impressive with U Mumba's Masayuki Shimokawa, Yosuke Sasaki and Takamitsu Kono being the most prominent names. However, with the league expanding further in coming times, Japan might find itself as one of the beneficiaries of the same.
As the number of teams increased to 12 for the fifth season, a lot of international names that impressed in the World Cup found themselves in demand in the auctions. An entry into the cash rich league for Japanese players can pave the way for greater popularity of the game in the country.