To raise awareness about its upcoming gubernatorial election, Japan's Miyagi Prefecture is launching an ad campaign featuring Edo-era samurai Date Masamune. Oh, not the real one -- the one from Capcom's Sengoku Basara.

Through "TV ads, radio, newspapers, and transportation agencies," the fictionalized video game version of the long-dead daimyo will encourage young residents to get out the vote ... even though power and land was inherited in the real sengoku period during which the real Date lived. In addition, the websites for Shiroishi City, Kochi Prefecture, Kochi City, and Sengoku Basara will post messages encouraging tourism to the homelands of the real historical figures who inspired the game.

Why all the fuss? When the first game was released Stateside as Devil Kings, nothing really came of it; however, in Japan, the Sengoku Basara series and its associated anime have been popular enough to reignite interest in the real sengoku period among "otaku tourists." With Capcom launching Sengoku Basara 3 in North America next year, we could be seeing Masamune's smirking face on our own campaign posters soon enough.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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