Huge mural of Ohtani Shohei unveiled in Los Angeles

A huge mural of Major League baseball star Ohtani Shohei has been completed at a Japanese commercial district in Los Angeles. The Japanese power slugger now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

More than 200 people, including Dodgers officials, Japanese-Americans and other local residents, attended a ceremony to unveil the mural in Little Tokyo on Wednesday.

Artist Robert Vargas, who created the mural, told the gathering that the project is a means to unite a variety of people and cultures.

After a countdown, the cover fell from an outside wall of a Japanese chain-operated hotel to reveal a 10-story high mural of Ohtani as a pitcher and a batter.

Augmented reality technology, which adds digital content to the physical world, is used to give dynamism to the mural. Visitors can access a special website with their smartphone that shows Ohtani swinging a bat and pitching.

One visitor said Ohtani looks fantastic and energetic in the mural. Another said Ohtani is the Babe Ruth of Japan and the mural is good for the Japanese community in Los Angeles.

The head of a local business association, David Ikegami, said his family has lived in Little Tokyo for 80 years and it's the first time he has seen something so wonderful. He said the Japanese-American community is looking forward to the Dodgers' opening game at the team's home stadium on Thursday.