Tiger Mask Manga Inspires A Series Of Heroic Donations In Japan

By Ishaan . January 15, 2011 . 12:02pm

Tiger Mask was a manga series penned by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji, and published by Kodansha in 1968. Tiger Mask starred a professional wrestler named Date Naoto, who wore an identifiable tiger mask over his head.


Over the years, Naoto has inspired wrestlers in real life to wear a tiger mask similar to him. In the manga, Date was originally part of an evil organization named “Tiger’s Cave” that would train wrestlers in exchange for royalties. Ultimately, he ended up leaving the organization and set out to establish his career on his own, using his earnings to donate money to the orphanage he grew up at.


Angered by his betrayal, Tiger’s Cave began to hunt him, sending assassins and other professional wrestlers to do away with Tiger Mask.


Similar to Tiger Mask’s fictional heroics, this past Christmas, somebody in Japan secretly left 10 brand new school bags in boxes, gift-wrapped, at a welfare facility for children in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. The donor identified himself as Date Naoto, the Tiger Mask.


The event inspired hundreds of other Tiger Mask copycats to spring into action as well, making donations across all of Japan to welfare facilities and city offices, each of them under the name of Date Naoto.


Following this turn of events, Kodansha have been flooded with orders from consumers for the Tiger Mask manga series to be republished, with orders as of Friday surpassing 13,000 copies. Naturally, Kodansha are gladly republishing the series, this being their third time to do so.


Food for thought:


If you’re a fan of No More Heroes creator, Suda 51, you’ll know he has a fascination with wrestling, too. Perhaps this is why some of the characters in Grasshopper’s Kinect game, Codename D, wear tiger masks over their heads?

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • joesz

    “Inserts nickelback’s Hero into the article”

  • So Date Naoto is Japan’s (somewhat?)new Santa Claus/Saint Nick now… That’s inspiringly awesome.

  • karasuKumo

    Manga, saving lives one page at a time.

  • Guest

    Tiger Mask is awesome (the actual real life wrestlers as well) and is a playable character in the PSP fighting game Shounen vs Magazine

  • I’m a fan of the wrestler!

  • So does Tiger Mask and King from Tekken relate in any way?

    • Maybe that’s what inspired it!

      • SneakyHawk

        It’s VERY likely considering that King and Tiger Mask have a similar background and Armor King is based on a character in the manga(his name escapes me). :)

  • PrinceHeir

    i bet this tiger is King from Tekken and his brother Armor King :D

  • This is an amazing story, i wish people would do cool things like that in the west.

    Tiger mask!

  • Heh pretty cool way to get people into the charity spirit. Wonder if it will become an annual treat.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos