Walking and the pedestrian environment
May 13, 2006
Nude Statues (Tokyo)

The first batch of disturbingly nude statues in Suginami Ward.

In parks and in front of public buildings all over Suginami Ward, a disconcerting series of nude statues confronts an unimpressed populace. Here is a first set of seven, plus a bonus. Watch for more in the future.

What deranged mind funded this art program? What supressed sociopath designed them? Why doesn't anyone care?

This unending chain of rhetorical questions draws me in deeper... this has potential to be the sequel to the Seattle Clock Walk.


Bunny BoyA boy squats down to feed two bunnies on the banks of the Kanda River near Kan-7. Why is he nude? Why is he anatomically correct? Why is he feeding bunnies? Does this depict some local folklore, or a famous children's story?


CherubA series of incredibly poorly made, mass-produced cherubs playing instruments lines a section of the banks of the Kanda River near the water pipeline. What does Greek mythology have to do with this neighborhood? What are the cherubs so scared of? Why are they wearing towels, when the boy with bunnies nearby is naked? What song are they playing?


Family of nudesA mother and her two children nude, in a park just southwest of Nakano. What is the older boy looking and waving at? Why is his wiener red? Why hasn't his mother noticed what's got his attention? How did she maintain such a great figure after giving birth twice? Has she noticed that she's raising two clone boys from Children of the Corn? Why was the statue put right next to a telephone pole?


Goodbye NudeA woman stands nude, waving in front of the Ogikubo library. Who is she saying goodbye to, nude? Or is she hailing a cab, nude? Is she holding her head in shocked dismay? Or is she holding her hair down as the helicopter takes off?


Nearly NudeA bronzed man stands nearly nude in Sanshi no Mori Park. Why did the artist choose this moment, just before the man takes off his shorts? Is he relieved to be done with a marathon, or contemplative of the life he's running away from? Are those really shorts or actually a micro mini skirt?


Nondescript NudeA bronzed woman stands totally nude in Sanshi no Mori Park. Why did the artist choose such a boring, uneventful pose? How am I supposed to ask questions about such a nondescript stance? Is she reaching for her gun, or scratching a mosquito bite? Is she doing a waltz or some other dance that you lead with your right?


NudishA boy sits with birds basically nude in Sanshi no Mori Park. What is he wearing? Is it made of grass? Why bother putting clothes on him when you can only tell close up? Why is it okay to be nude with bunnies but not with birds? How does the hat stay on his head? What is he reaching for? What are the birds flying from? Do they recognize the true malevolence behind the person or thing or force that the boy naively welcomes with head thrown back and palm out? Why is he worried about his smock rising any higher, when it's so short to begin with?


Catch a Star - NudeBonus nude of a mother and son in Shinjuku Central Park. Are they picking fruit from the trees? Are they reaching for the stars? If she's reaching out for something, why is her knee locked backwards? What does she care about so much that she's willing to drop her baby? Is she incredibly short, or is her baby incredibly big?


Check out More Nude Statues for more of the same!

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at May 13, 2006 7:41 AM
Check out my book Lost Seattle for more explorations of history and urbanism.