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Bamboo Thicket (full name: "ブログのような竹林", "A blog-like bamboo thicket") is the name of a blog run by Hidekaz Himaruya.
The blog was started in May 2008, and is the second official blog for Kitayume. The original Bamboo Thicket blog existed from January to March 2008, though details on the old blog remain mostly unclear (other than it having been hosted on Yahoo Japan's blogging service). An earlier sort of "blog" was in existence from 2006-2007 on the main site, in Himaruya's update logs for each month in which he'd post artwork, take requests, and answer fan questions.
Bamboo Thicket's main attraction happens to be production artwork and sketches for his different comics, most notably Axis Powers Hetalia. It also includes photos of places around the world, that he took while traveling, and photos of animals. Some of the illustrations from his old blog and update logs were also reposted, though many more still remain "lost".
Himaruya also makes entries on his everyday life and happenings, from when he was still living in New York, to his present situation with his manga deal and Chibi-san Date.
Occasionally, Himaruya will also answer fans' questions and art requests on the blog, and draw special sketches for them. The blog is also the first place that preview sketches for Hetalia-related merchandise can be seen, such as the covers to the CDs. In December 2009, Himaruya decided to do a "Sudden Death" Christmas request session for fans, in which fans could send in requests for him to do and he would try to get as many done as he could before New Years' 2010. This event is notable for showing that English fan letters could be accepted, as he took a few English-language requests among the ones in Japanese.
English translations of entries on Bamboo Thicket were provided by the LiveJournal community of the same name, which was created on January 18th, 2009. However, it appears that the community has fallen static and ceased to update.
A second mirror blog was created after the inactivity of the previous translated blog, and has since been keeping Himaruya's posts updated.
Himaruya has a Gentosha contact form where he may answer questions and take sketch requests. Though he usually answers to Japanese fans' inquiries, he has also replied to the occasional English question. For the form, go here.
(in order of boxes)
- E-mail address
- Age: Drop-down box gives you the different age ranges.
- Subject type. The drop-down box gives you five options:
- "Thought" (感想)
- "Question" (質問)
- "Request" (リクエスト)
- "Funny Trivia" (面白情報)
- "Other" (その他)
- Subject title
- Message body
Hit the send button on the left, and the button on the left at the confirmation page. An image of Italy thanking you for your message should appear if you correctly sent the message.