Photo/IllutrationA conceptual drawing for the Dogo Onsen Honkan wrapping art project ((c) TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS)

  • Photo/Illustraion

MATSUYAMA--A famous onsen here undergoing preservation work is about to get some divine protection.

A phoenix from a work by manga legend Osamu Tezuka will adorn a canvas covering Dogo Onsen Honkan's main bathhouse starting in mid-July, according to the municipal government.

The so-called wrapping art is part of the "Dogo reborn project," whereby Honkan's revitalization will be promoted through the mythological bird.

Repair work on the Dogo-Yunomachi district facility started in January and will continue for about seven years.

The fire bird, a symbol of eternal life, is from the unfinished "Hi no Tori" (Phoenix) series by Tezuka (1928-1989).

The creature will appear on a structure about 34 meters long, 19 meters wide and 20 meters high, which will protect the building from wind and rain.

The canvas will cover about one-third of the facility, mainly the eastern part, and will also feature figures and characters connected to the area's history, such as an egret, Okuninushi-no-mikoto, who is featured in a local old tale, and Prince Shotoku (574-622).

The latter is believed to have once soaked in the waters of Dogo Onsen.