Harry Potter fans worldwide are in for a treat: J.K. Rowling has released details of four new wizarding schools across the globe, including in… drumroll... Japan. The somewhat simply named Mahoutokoro (literally 'Place of Magic') is said to be on Minami Iwo Jima, unbeknownst to the Muggle community on the neighbouring island. Students at Mahoutokoro are apparently renowned for their exquisite skills in Quidditch (for those who don’t know: think of rugby, football and handball combined, but in the air, on flying brooms, with whacking cannonballs considered a legitimate means of defence). And in a nod to the US troops stationed in the area, they have to keep an eye out for planes from a nearby base. Their robes, part of the standard uniform, grow with them and change colour as they learn more – and if they’ve gravely transgressed any magic laws, the robes will turn white, in the ultimate excommunication. They also get to school on the back of giant storm petrels. Now that’ll beat the Chuo line any day.
Japanese Twitter users went crazy after the announcement, with some die-hard fans even contributing their own ideas for the official Mahoutokoro uniform, and thinking up some possible characters under the hashtag #マホウトコロ生の日常 (daily life of a Mahoutokoro student).
Over on the English side, many tweets wondered about the name and pronunciation given on the website: 'Mah-hoot-o-koh-ro'. Even more of a reason to write it in katakana instead of the classic 魔法所. Regardless, many in Japan are now hoping their letter will finally arrive.
You can find the full description of Mahoutokoro and other new schools in Brazil ('Castelobruxo'), Africa ('Uagadou'), and the US ('Ilvermorny') at www.pottermore.com.
– By Kirsty Bouwers
– Image courtesy of J.K. Rowling/Pottermore Ltd.