The president of General Sports Authority (GSA), Turki Al-Sheikh, announced on Nov. 24 in Tokyo an agreement with Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Chairman Toshi Shika Ishihara to build a replica of the famous “Takeshi Castle” in Riyadh.
Al-Sheikh tweeted: “I was pleased to sign — a few minutes ago — in Tokyo an agreement with TBS, to establish Takeshi’s Castle in the Kingdom. The beginning will be in the last quarter of 2018.”
This is the first entertainment project announced by the GSA, and reflects a will to attract public attention toward sports activities.
According to GSA’s Twitter account, Al-Sheikh said: “We seek not only to entertain, but also to inspire people to exercise and experience new physical activities.”
The building of the castle will show Arab architectural elements on an area of 300,000 square meters. As the original version, it will include 50 obstacles, some specially designed for this project.
The Japanese show had a large following in Saudi Arabia and neighboring Arab countries during the mid to late 1980s. It was locally called “Al-Hisin” (The Fort), and the commentary was provided in Arabic by Lebanese television personality Riad Sharara and Palestinian news broadcaster Jamal Rayyan.
The original show was dubbed in many languages around the world, and it has a special place in the memory of Saudis and Arabs.
Saudis welcomed the GSA initiative to diversify its activities. Khalid said on Twitter: “When I was 15 I wanted to participate with the Japanese players; now I’m 45 and I still have the will to prepare myself and participate.”
Badriah commented on Twitter saying: “What I like about this idea is that it contains both entertainment, and physical activity, as well as the use of heritage in an innovative way, that is creative.”
Tokyo Broadcasting System was launched in the early 50s, one of their most important projects was TBS Television, which has created countless hit drama, shows, and news programs that played an important role in promoting Japanese culture around the world.