Sunday, January 31, 2016


An illustration from the Pottermore website reveals the magical school of Mahoutokoro, the Japanese version of Hogwarts. | © J.K. ROWLING/POTTERMORE LTD. ™ WARNER BROS. 

 ‘Harry Potter’ author reveals Japanese wizarding school

The Japan Times  by Tom Hanaway  STAFF WRITER  Jan 30, 2016 

The author of the “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling, let muggles in on a big secret — there is a hidden wizarding school in Japan.

Rowling revealed the Japanese version of Hogwarts on her Pottermore website, along with schools in the U.S., Brazil and Africa. In the “Harry Potter” universe, there are 11 institutions worldwide where young wizards and witches learn how to use magic.

The Japanese school, named Mahoutokoro (place of the magic), is described as being located on a seemingly deserted volcanic island in Minami Iwo Jima. According to Rowling’s essay, Mahoutokoro is famous for its high academics and its strong record in Quidditch, a wizarding sport where players fly on brooms and score points.

The school also has some unique traits that distinguishes it from others, including magical robes that change colors depending on the wearer — pink for beginners; gold for expert students; and white for those who are practicing evil magic.

Rowling even alludes to Japan’s Self-Defense Forces by writing that Quidditch players have to careful when flying because of “planes from the muggle airbase on a neighboring island.”

The announcement is sure to please Japan’s large “Harry Potter” fan base, which includes the millions who have visited Universal Studios Japan theme park and its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. The first “Harry Potter” film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” is one of the top grossing films in Japanese box office history.

The unveiling included new Twitter accounts and is most likely designed to whet appetites for the upcoming movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a film based in the “Harry Potter” universe and set in the U.S., with a script penned by Rowling herself. While the schools in Japan, Brazil and Africa all have backstories, the page for the American institution simply states “Coming soon…” meaning that fans may have to wait until the film’s release in November 2016 to see it for themselves.

The Ogasawara Islands, consisting of the Mukojima, Chichijima, and Hahajima island groups, are located far south of the Japanese home islands.

Sneak peek at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 


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