Between 1996 and 2002, Benson, a resident of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, was the third writer officially commissioned by the Estate of Ian Fleming to pen 007 continuation novels. During his tenure, Benson wrote and published six original James Bond novels, three film tie-in “novelizations,” and three short stories. His sixth and final original 007 novel, The Man With the Red Tattoo (published in 2002 in the U.S. by Putnam and in the U.K. by Hodder & Stoughton), was set in Japan. A major part of the story takes place on Naoshima Island in Kagawa Prefecture.
Since the novel’s publication, Kagawa Prefecture, Naoshima Town, and a number of other organizations have been working together to promote the cinematic adaptation and filming of the novel in a move to revitalize Naoshima and the wider Seto Inland Sea region. Their efforts have been receiving a great deal of attention in the Japanese media, leading to the construction of a facility which could be used to introduce the locations on the island.
The 007 The Man With the Red Tattoo Museum aims to present Naoshima as a Bond location on a national scale, introduce visitors to the story of The Man With the Red Tattoo and other James Bond 007 novels, feature information on Benson and the other successive authors who have contributed to the legacy of 007, and exhibit material and memorabilia related to the novels and films.
Designed by Hidemi Inoue of Inoue Commercial Space Planning, The 007 The Man With the Red Tattoo Museum will open on July 24, 2005. It is located at 2310 Miyanoura, Naoshima (one minute from Myanoura Bay). For more information, contact the International Affairs Division, Kagawa Prefectural Government, Tel: 087-832-3026, Fax 087-837-4289.
To keep up with Raymond Benson’s latest work, appearances, and to purchase his books, visit www.raymondbenson.com.