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New Shohei Ohtani mural in Little Tokyo makes Angelenos beam with pride

Shohei Ohtani is a symbol of pride and excitement for Los Angeles Dodgers fans, especially those in the Little Tokyo neighborhood. 

Now many of them will be able to see the baseball superstar everyday as a new mural on the wall of the Miyako Hotel on 1st Street, just steps away from the iconic Japanese American National Museum. 

Titled “LA Raising,” the mural depicts the two-way player in his Dodger uniform, looking upward at the plate.

“It’s amazing. I can look at him every day, all day,” said Irene Tokata, who owns a store in Little Tokyo. “There is no one in the Japanese and Japanese American community that is not in love with Shohei Ohtani.”

The massive mural – 150 feet tall and 60 feet long – is the work of acclaimed muralist Robert Vargas.

“I think what this does is to bridge Los Angeles with Japan where we are all united rooting for the same team, the LA Dodgers,” Vargas said.

The Boyle Heights native was behind a number of murals that brought pops of color to the downtown LA area, including that of Kobe Bryant on 5th and Hill Streets. 

The mural is planned to be a double feature, showing Ohtani at the plate and on the mound with a unique augmented reality element, which can be accessed by scanning the barcode with a smartphone.

While the official unveiling is days away, the mural was already starting to take shape Tuesday. Vargas also noted on his social media account that he will be painting everyday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until completion. 

The unveiling will take place on March 27, one day before the opening day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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