Shimane town demands pants for Michelangelo's David sculpture

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  • 60

    my2sense

    perhaps they should put a black tarp over the magazine rack in every convenience store while they're at it.

  • 18

    Michael Craig

    Michelangelo's "David" was a historical masterpiece! You can't censor such a masterpiece! Not even a replica!

    Michelangelo would turn in his grave!

  • 13

    tapi0ca

    "And now for something completely different..." (Roll Monty Python theme music)

  • 43

    Speed

    I still don't understand how human anatomy, aside from posing sexually, can be "bad for children".

    It sounds like the adults are the ones that are warped and the ones to be "embarrassed" about.

  • 17

    USB

    a giant red fundoshi would be perfect! East meets west

  • 20

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Hahahah! Like I said before, JAPAN NEED TO GROW UP!! Kids here look at their daddys, granpas etc.."anatomy" night and day in their home ofuro, at the sento, at the onsen, so Shimane folks, try to grow up or at least understand that putting underwear on this would be as stupid as putting a BRA on the Statue Of Liberty??

  • 21

    zichi

    I think the original is one of the most beautiful male sculptures I've ever seen. At my age, sure would love to have a body like that again. Even in the Vatican there are male nude sculptures and paintings.

  • 21

    Matthew Simon

    Must be nice to live in a town where the biggest worry is if a statue has pants. Honestly I think their efforts are best spent somewhere else. Like was said above there are far more revealing items in a 7-11 right next to the kids manga books.

  • 18

    letsberealistic

    More double standards; why is it okay for small children to see living naked adults at sento and onsen but not a stone statue?

  • 15

    WilliB

    They need pixels!

  • 4

    moomoochoo

    Apparently it was the size of the statue that was the problem.....

  • 2

    Goals0

    According to Wiki Queen Victoria shared the same concern:

    The statue has been reproduced many times. The plaster cast of David at the Victoria and Albert Museum has a detachable plaster fig leaf which is displayed nearby. The fig leaf was created in response to Queen Victoria's shock upon first viewing the statue's nudity, and was hung on the figure prior to royal visits, using two strategically placed hooks.

  • 2

    2020hindsights

    Shimane town demands pants for Michelangelo's David sculpture

    some have asked for David to wear underwear to preserve his modesty

    The headline and contents of this story are incongruous.

  • 4

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Just like in the episode of 'The Simpsons' !

  • -6

    michikokada

    Vivo Davide di Michelangelo ma we should respect the locals of a little town, vote, majority wins.

  • 2

    semperfi

    USB: a giant red fundoshi would be perfect! East meets west

    That's good ! :)

  • -4

    Seiryuu_Dan

    maybe they should put a toga on David.

    The town should've vote on it, whether to clothed it, the keep it bare or remove it all together.

  • 6

    semperfi

    I doubt that the "size" of the statue is the issue. .................Consider the Todaiji in Nara, or any of the other sacred statues in Japan. ............They are huge ...............................As for statues of naked people .................................. the female statuettes around Sannomiya Hankyu Stn in Kobe are naked .....................................Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • 5

    Farmboy

    Maybe they could ask the local KFC to dress David as they would Colonel Sanders. A sad day for art, but a fine day for fried chicken.

  • 4

    cleo

    Whats good for the goose is good for the gander

    Them what's interested should go an 'ave a gander before they put knickers on 'im, then. :-)

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Just like "The Simpsons"!! hahaha! Wish Homer and Bart could make it down to Shimane and have Bart ride around on his skateboard and say "Ay carmaba! Don't have a cow man!" Anybody know how to say this in Shimane ben??

  • 2

    Dennis Bauer

    One round pixelated screen please

  • 2

    zenkan

    Art censorship raises its head again. Perhaps the authorities should arrest Michaelangelo posthumously and fine the benefactor...

  • 8

    Betraythetrust!

    I respect how Japanese feel as a long term resident but i think the complainers need to be educated as to why putting pants on the statue is ridiculous. May as well go the whole hog and deck it out in a Hello Kitty bikini.

  • 13

    BertieWooster

    Let's face it, the whole town of Shimane is not "demanding underpants," is it?

    Why does JT have to exaggerate in this way.

    This is ONE or TWO repressed and VERY NOISY people.

    Tell them to shut up or ignore them.

  • 4

    Jimizo

    If they have a Venus de Milo they can use a t-shirt with nonsensical English written on it.

  • 5

    DudeDeuce

    Let's face it, the whole town of Shimane is not "demanding underpants," is it?

    Why does JT have to exaggerate in this way.

    This is ONE or TWO repressed and VERY NOISY people.

    Exactly, Title says that the town asks for pants but the article says some people, what gives?

  • 2

    gaijintraveller

    Cover it up and pass a law banning the display of genitals in onsen and sento and statues in public spaces. See what the reaction is. If the public objects, repeal the law and uncover it. Actually, the suggestion of such a law should be enough to make people see reason.

  • 5

    Simona Stanzani

    bloody idiots. if it wasn't for burlesquoni I'd pack my bags and go back to Bologna.

  • 3

    timtak

    It is okay to have representations of male sex organs at the local place of worship in Shimane (beware this link below shows several carved phalli) http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/seihaku/data/seishin/shimane_01.html However, generally the sex organs at shrines are detached. Perhaps if only the organ were showing it would be acceptable, so instead of "pants" they could make the statue wear the male, genital version of....no I had better not to there.

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    This and yet just beside the ice cream freezers are the racks of porn magazines? or what about all the ojisan who pee in public, especially during hanami season? Double standards.

    The kids being scared because 'big' statues appeared suddenly that's one thing, but has nothing to do with genitals they probably have seen on pops in the bath before.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    And the police didn't arrest the guy who put up the statue, even though it was showing male genetalia like in a picture?

    Some folks are just plain goofy.

  • 2

    nedinjapan

    It is a sign of homophobia. If it were a female statue, as there are already dozens in streets and parks all over Japan, no one would complain. The immature society here wants a Kawaii thing, even if very silly, but not a work of art; they can't appreciate it, they just can't !

  • 2

    philly1

    @ Zichi

    At my age, sure would love to have a body like that again.

    Ah, and I was Venus de Milo. Dreamers, both of us, methinks.

    But so as not to be deemed off topic by our good moderator I suggest: Let it be. People will get used to it. Public sculptures always get this reaction from a few people at first. Predictably, local media often depends on creating a short-lived furor over such non-issues. There is nothing that does this better than giving air to a few loud, polarizing voices. This too shall pass.

  • 10

    hoserfella

    “Some people have told the town’s legislators that toddlers are afraid of the statues because they are so big and they appeared unexpectedly over the summer,” town official Yoji Morinaga told AFP.

    How can kids in Japan grow up if the adults still refuse to?

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    Way too many hang-ups about nudity here.

  • 2

    timtak

    The statue of the naked male is only 16.5 miles, as the crow flies, from the sacred shrine with detached phalli. http://tinyurl.com/aumubdn I feel sure that it it is the animism of the residents of Izumo, who look at the statue and fear that it may come to life, that causes alarm rather than the way it is hung.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Way too many hang-ups about nudity here

    No there are no hangups about nudity in Japan, when it comes to nude females. Heck many of the women here like seeing nude women too. It's the guys that give them a problem.

  • 1

    Saulo Akazawa

    There is ALWAYS someone to complain about anything. There is never such a thing as 100% public opinion. Even the most obvious choices will be met with an opposing opinion. If the town would cover it up someone would complain, if they were taken away too. The decision to put them on public land was probably decided by a group of public servants that had the power to veto it then.

  • 3

    borscht

    Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children,” he said.

    Who do the people of Shimane think they are? American Tea-Partiests?

  • 2

    Christopher Blackwell

    Greeks tended to under state genitalia, at least on their male statues. It looks a lot funnier on their over muscled gods. Still it must be a dull town if this is all that they get upset over.

  • -3

    Probie

    Just shows the general childishness and a lack of culture in this country.

    Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children,” he said.

    Yeah, alright. Next you're going to ban nudity in sentos next, right, aren't you? Kids can go to sentos, they can see mens cocks there.

  • 2

    FightingViking

    @philly1 & Zichi

    There is nothing that does this better than giving air to a few loud, polarizing voices. This too shall pass.

    I feel like both of you do ! Let's hope you're right ! What an insult to art in general and especially to Michelangelo. The people of Marseille are proud to have always had another replica of David at the end of the Prado Avenue, standing with his back to the sea.

  • 1

    TrevorPeace2

    And there is no onsen nearby? I am arriving May 15 for five weeks. Where is this town? As a writer, I MUST visit it.

  • 1

    TrevorPeace2

    And it should not be on a pedestal. It should be mounted at ground height, so people can feel the perfection of the sculpture. Where is this place? I must visit it.

  • 0

    GW

    Agghh Japanese an easily confused bunch at times, hope they can survive this calamity haha

  • 0

    marcelito

    Yeah I agree - this is just about a few thick headed inakamono oji or oba`s making noise....every town has some of those. @trevor - where is this place?...There is a big hint in the above article mate:-)

  • 2

    Roten

    I take it that naked Mr. Olympus statue, larger than life, is long gone from the front of Nagoya station.

  • 6

    Disillusioned

    Don't stop at underpants! How about they make it very Japanese and put a school girl's uniform on it!

  • 7

    senseiman

    The funny part isn`t that the locals want to put pants on it.

    The funny part is that a businessman thought it would be tasteful to decorate a public park in an aging town of 15,000 in rural Japan with a full size replica of a massive 16th century Italian statue portraying a biblical hero with absolutely no connection to Shimane whatsoever.

    It calls to mind that scene in the film Analyze This where the mafia boss builds a giant Romanesque fountain in the front yard of Billy Crystal`s little bungalow in the suburbs. Not sure if the humor in that scene would be appreciated by the businessman referred to in this article.

  • 0

    daisan

    They should give them a free tour to the kanamara matsuri.

  • 0

    cierzo98

    Irrespective of the size of the statues or whether, or not, their nakedness is approved by some of the residents, you have to wonder what the " businessman who hails from the area " was thinking when he donated them. I'm sure the money spent on them could have been allocated to something more useful for a town in Shimane, and caused less contoversy. It smacks of an egotistical gesture more than anything else.

  • 0

    25psot

    This sculpture is a good thing but is in the wrong place and this them thing should be dress up or removed and replace with some kind of Dragon or Mermaid I would like to see this type of sculpture only if I travel to Italy or Greece

  • -6

    humanrights

    JP doesnt understand Art. Thats why nothing has ever been preserved from their past. (except rusty pieces of metal) Everything has always been destroyed or burned in JP. But I have seen statues all over JP with sex organs portrayed, so WTF? They might want to change Michelangelos eyes and make them more Asian. Its a superficial complaint that is so ridiculous considering all the Sex Mad materials selling in PUblic places and prostitution going on in JP between family restaurants and behind Cobans!

  • 5

    gogogo

    So the men of the town don't like the size of the gaijin statue... hmmm

  • -6

    timtak

    There are few statues in Japan partly because people are more animistic. My son was afraid of the Buddha statue at a local temple, and a tiger statue outside a zoo. My daughter was terrified of the mask I wore at the spring solstice bean scattering three days ago. The important thing is that the body has a face (see Watsuji's "Mask and Persona") since as soon as something has a face it is felt to be alive, in Japan anyway. The French reporters made this a sexual issue. Really it is a statue-with-a-face issue. The map location is at the lower of the two markers in the map linked from my post above.

  • 0

    taj

    " is unnerving (a small handful of) residents of a Japanese town, with some calling ... "

    Is the media, perchance, over blowing the comments of a crackpot or two?

    In order to sell page views, the media tends to focus on anything spouted by extreme minorities. I'm not about to get my knickers in a twist at this point, but yeah, AFP & JT, you got me to look.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    The French reporters made this a sexual issue. Really it is a statue-with-a-face issue.

    Timtak - complete nonsense.

  • 3

    crustpunker

    Don't worry everyone! I'm sure the statue will stand strong in the face of stiff opposition!

  • 0

    upintheair

    On Singapore's TV they censure Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" from the Sistina Chapel as Adam's genital are exposed. They cover them up. I think it's the epitome of stupidity but I am sure that if I said that aloud they would reply that us, the dirty evil Westeners, are trying to impose our values onto them. At the same time they have areas in the center of the city where dirty old men go, at lunch time, to have sex with sex slaves from China. All in the light of the day. It would be like Hitler shooting someone in the head but refusing to even talk about guns.

  • 5

    FightingViking

    in the face of stiff opposition!

    Well... as long as it's only the opposition that's stiff...

  • 3

    Tessa

    Don't put women's panties on it! They'll only get stolen!

  • -1

    realmind

    There are 1000s of woman statues need bras and panties in Japan. What a crazy demand???? People should love the arts..

  • -1

    realmind

    OR Cut his Penis out..... A new art!! hah hahhhhhaaaaa

  • -5

    timtak

    There is nothing new about putting pants on this statue. When a replica was first displayed in a London museum (the V&A) it wore a fig leaf. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/d/davids-fig-leaf/

    I still think that the statue is scary for its face, and animateness. The Japanese do not have much of an issue with male genitals, but they don't like naked walking around their parks (except on special days at least) and feel alarmed because the statue looks like real a naked man, rather than because it is naked. Here are two versions of the statue, one with a fig leaf the other without a head.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/8452475876

    I think that Japanese would find the one without the head less worrying, if it were in their park.

  • -1

    hoserfella

    The Japanese do not have much of an issue with male genitals

    I guess that would explain why they are the only country on earth to pixilate them in movies, arrest a photographer this week for "indecency", etc.

    but they don't like naked walking around their parks (except on special days at least)

    Oh dear....Timtak, what are these special days where Japanese enjoy walking naked in parks?

    I think that Japanese would find the one without the head less worrying, if it were in their park.

    Oh good god....

  • 0

    mark monson

    Perhaps they should fit "Dave" with a fancyful renaissance style JOCK STRAP to protect the visually squeamish..

  • 1

    Betraythetrust!

    I agree with hoserfella.

  • 0

    timtak

    Hoserfella wrote

    What are these special days where Japanese enjoy walking naked in parks?

    I was thinking of the naked festivals (Hadaka Matsuri). These days the participants wear a sort of jock strap but in the past this was sometimes not the case http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A3%B8%E7%A5%AD%E3%82%8A or so I have been told.

  • 1

    Spidey

    Me thinks an "ichijiku" leaf is in order. That should shut them locals up.

    S

  • 1

    senseiman

    I thought this sounded familiar and I just realized: The Simpsons did an episode based on the exact same situation!

    See the season 2 episode Itchy & Scratchy & Marge. The statue of David comes to Springfield and some activist group protests its nudity. There is even a scene with a picture of the statue wearing pants (on Kent Brockman`s news show).

    Conclusion: In Japan life imitates the Simpsons.

  • 2

    Surf O'Holic

    " The fig leaf was created in response to Queen Victoria's shock upon first viewing the statue's nudity, and was hung on the figure prior to royal visits, using two strategically placed hooks."

    Ah, so.... a few victorian-minded phallophobes getting their knickers in a twist. Get over it.

  • 1

    Nessie

    Time for cherry hot pants. You asked for it.

  • 1

    90292

    Of course they would put up the statue in a "large" public park with a "full-size" running track. As a part of a play area with "apparatus" for children?

    The earlier Monty Python reference reminded me of another memorable Life of Brian character appropriate for this article, Biggus Dickus...

  • -1

    hoserfella

    I was thinking of the naked festivals (Hadaka Matsuri). These days the participants wear a sort of jock strap but in the past this was sometimes not the case

    So nobody's naked, or walking around in parks...what is your point again?

  • 1

    TokyoGas

    I thought I misread the title. lol

    They really want to cover David's doodle? lol

  • 1

    Cos

    At my age, sure would love to have a body like that again

    Well forget buying clothes in Japan then... The dude is tall. He wouldn't even find his size in lotus leaf...

    Art censorship raises its head again.

    Plaster molding "art".

    .Timtak, what are these special days where Japanese enjoy walking naked in parks?

    Naked, I dunno. But the bird exposed to the view, in Osaka, it's the days whose name end in "yobi". The Ossans thinks it needs its daily dose of vitamin D and the plants in the parks love getting a hot shower...

  • 2

    bonword

    Dear Town of Shimane,

    Heard about your pantless problem. Heartfelt condolences. More than willing to help you out, please feel free to have the shocking art removed and relocated to my premises.

    I'd be ever so happy if local business people spent money on objects of beauty in my area for all as opposed to just keeping it for themselves (which they are entitled to do).

    Sincerely,

  • 0

    timtak

    By parks, I meant public open spaces, such as beaches or the grounds of shrines and temples which, I believe functioned in similar ways to parks in Japan. Are you splitting hairs about the definition of parks Hoser?

    While most of the naked festivals of which many remain http://wadaphoto.jp/maturi/index.html now wear jock straps, traditionally and indeed until quite recently, completely naked festivals were not unusual.

    For example, the Sominsai Festival in Iwate Prefecture it is written that http://wiki.kumetan.net/index.php?%E8%98%87%E6%B0%91%E7%A5%AD "Traditionally the festival was carried out by completely naked (zenra) men but with the increase in the number of tourists in recent years and the participation of people whose objectives were different to those of the festival's original nature, such as those that want to streak, expose themselves and gays, the wearing of fundoshi (jock straps) has alas been made obligatory in recent years. "

    Or indeed according to photographic evidence on this website (gentals are covered) http://fantaok7e.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-12.html This year on January 1st, fully naked men participated in the Aichi Prefecture, Mihama Chou, Kaminoma Chiku Naked festival, and are shown walking on a public road.

    My point is that, contra the west were the male form itself is taboo, in Japan naked men are to be seen at home by their children every night, in public up close in communal baths, and in public open spaces (parks?) during festivals.

    However, it is the inappropriateness of the appearance of a naked man standing in a park frequented by toddlers in broad daylight that is the problem here in Shimane. If there were a real man he'd be locked up too.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Sounds like they resent the benefactor's richness.

  • -2

    FPSRussia

    Someone said Japan has a lack of culture. I disagree. There's only one culture here and there's so much of it there's little room for anything else. I think that's the real problem.

  • 1

    Poke

    Welcome to the Japanese inaka.

    Sure, maybe its only a few people. If thats the case, the rest of the people need to have the good sense to tell the complainers to shut up.

  • -1

    hoserfella

    Are you splitting hairs about the definition of parks Hoser?

    Timtak - Shrines and public parks are fundamentally and obviously different. How long have you been in Japan?

    However, it is the inappropriateness of the appearance of a naked man standing in a park frequented by toddlers in broad daylight that is the problem here in Shimane. If there were a real man he'd be locked up too.

    If I didn't read it, I would not have believed it.

  • 3

    Foxie

    Up here in Hokkaido, there is a park with tons of sculptures of naked women. Nobody ever complained. Maybe the problem stems from jealous men who could never look as handsome as David.

  • 1

    timtak

    I have been in Japan for 23 years. About 18 years ago I took place in a 'naked' festival which took place in part in the grounds of Kouratamatare Shrine, which was permanently open to the public, exposed to the road, where children played, and was to all extents and purposes a sort of park. http://tinyurl.com/a9btfu3

    Naked' festivals are held in the public grounds of shrines and temples temples, public roads, recreational beaches, and I bet somewhere in a park. A quick google yields this "hadaka festival" (now jock strapped) which is held in something that calls itself a park http://wadaphoto.jp/maturi/maturi559.htm

    A public beach (this website shows men's posteriors and men covering their genitals with their hands) http://www.chibaphoto.jp/nifune/hadakamisogi.html

    I am not saying that there is zero difference. In Japan there are, or were, appropriate places for naked men to appear in public (baths, hot springs, festivals) and there are not. There are no appropriate places for men to appear in naked in public in the UK, that I am aware.

  • 1

    all4faj

    ****Ridiculous , what about the shrine in Japan with huge carvings of the penis, Oba san's rest their grand daughters on them to make sure they end up fertile, David wouldn't be seen naked around some of them, they make him look like a wee fellow.

  • 3

    UsagitoSaru

    I'm sure it has been mentioned already but how can this be bad for children or considered offensive? Children bathe with their fathers, enter public baths and onsen with their parents and strangers, large amounts of pornography can be seen on shelves uncovered and at eye level of children in convenient stores there are even festivals and shrines dedicated to male and female genitalia as well as overly sexual characters in cartoons...not long ago it was ok to show shin chan and child son goku's penis on tv but with newer versions even those are being censored....how is this statue offensive..it just..boggles the mind.

  • 1

    oberst

    TRADITIONALLY a fig leaf would suffice............

  • 3

    bicultural

    Welcome to the Japanese inaka.

    Exactly. I used to go to the Riverside Sports Center in Asakusa. There are two statues near the entrance of the building, one of them of a naked man. One time I saw a few elementary school girls pointing at the "ochinchin" and giggling. That's about it. Adults certainly don't bat an eyelid. This isn't a "Japan" problem, it's a "doinaka" problem.

  • 3

    Thunderbird2

    One of the greatest works of art in the history of Mankind and they want to cover him up? I bet these are the same ojisan who drool over AKB48 bikini photos or buy Sora Aoi DVDs by the bucketload...

  • 1

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Maybe the locals will break it's arms off and the offending appendage and rename the staue 'Penis De Milo' .

  • -1

    hoserfella

    In typical Japanese fashion, only the voices of the few typical morons will be heard. The typical weakling local gov't will remove the statues rather than make a stand, and the majority of citizens who enjoy a bit of culture? Typically silent.

  • 0

    Ebereson

    If Michelangelo can wear pant ,daibutsu can wear kimono.Japanese are corrupting their children with their conservative mind.those children has been seeing their ojisan's naked at ofuro area,there is noting new there.****

  • -1

    LiveInTokyo

    A couple of months (?) ago didnt we have an article on JT about how Japanese people are more accepting of nudity at onsens, didnt we? I can`t get the thinking behind this. At times Japanese say they are very accepting of nudity and then at other times we have reactions like this from the townsfolk.

  • 2

    megosaa

    Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children

    pffft! it's not as if they haven't seen chin-chin in their lives! it's ok to show in mangas but not this? i need a kit kat.

  • 0

    Cos

    Oh, that kitsch joke has passionated fans. As you love copy-cat art, my neighbor bought a Statue of Liberty, to put on his pachinko's roof, and apparently it's a national chain now :

    http://variousphoto.sitemix.jp/jiyunomegami/jiyunomegami.html There is no page about the list of Japanese dabidezo, but there is already another one in Nagano. There would be hundreds of clones of this exhibitionist over the world. Do we have a HuisTenBosch-Parquespana-Mickeyland with an Italian styling ? Dabide-kun would be great there.

    in the high court of artistic expression...

    Summary of what are martyr artists in Japan this week : a foxy school-girl model whose real talent is shaving her head to get her 15 minutes of internet fame, a fashion photoshop artist that sold a gay porn star's shashinshu, and now, the artist must be a tombstone maker that took an order to carve a David and a Venus (3D softwares and laser do wonders these days). Question : Is that the whole artistic scene left in Japan ? Or is it only a bad series ?

  • 1

    Garry Gestoveo

    A leaf will do

  • 2

    nalunui05

    Celebration of the Phallic Symbol at the Kanamara Matsuri Festival.... Erect penises parading down the street with women licking lolli's and others jumping for joy at the sight of these things held high; and, they want to cover up the genitalia of Michaelangelo's David? Give me a break! The one-sided minds. If it was a creation by a Nihon artist, perhaps it would be OK. Let try to PIXELLATE that part. ;)

  • 0

    Himajin

    I can`t get the thinking behind this. At times Japanese say they are very accepting of nudity and then at other times we have reactions like this from the townsfolk.

    You use a towel to cover those parts at an onsen, or you should be...

  • -1

    Jechan

    Rubbish. I wonder, if the model in the sculputre was japanese... Wake up. This sculpture is going nowhere. Lame houewives just want an outlet for their frustrations.

  • 3

    No Miso

    Venus de Milo should have a bra as well.

  • 2

    gelendestrasse

    So the salarymen are complaining that they are distracted while they read their hentai manga? The mind boggles....

  • 2

    thehedonist

    Do us all a favor and stay in your back water town. Don't pollute the rest of the world with your backwards thinking.

  • 3

    KnowBetter

    “Some people have told the town’s legislators that toddlers are afraid of the statues because they are so big and they appeared unexpectedly over the summer,”

    I'm pretty sure it's not the 'toddlers" that are afraid the 'size'... geez Japan, grow up already!

  • 4

    Sperry

    Better solution: Remove the statue. Take it completely away.

    If they don't want art, then they don't get art.

  • -2

    Tahoochi

    ProbieFeb. 07, 2013 - 09:47AM JST

    Just shows the general childishness and a lack of culture in this country.

    ...and this comment just shows the general lack of respect for other peoples' opinions, and the fact that there actually IS culture in this country; Japanese culture.

    Reading some of these comments really makes my eyes roll. When someone puts large naked statues in a park in a small country town of 15000 people without notice in ANY country, I think there will always be some people who complain. Don't get me wrong, I do believe covering David up would be a slap in the face to this infamous piece of art, but accusing Japanese people of having no culture? Cover up the magazine racks in convenience stores? What does that have to do with a handful of conservative people in a small town who are just voicing their opinions about something that affects their daily lives?

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    I demand to replace it with a giant tentacle porn depiction ASAP, normal body figures are too much to bear.!

  • 1

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    I wonder what type of pants will be fitting for David? Maybe some Abercrombie swimmers?

    We should have a national day for nudity here in Japan, a day when everyone needs o be naked.

  • -2

    Pidestroika

    I think there is some confusion in a number of comments. I hope everybody understands that the existence of public onsen and ofuro, the various matsuri and the custom of taking a family bath are not justifications for human public nudity. Just because a Japanese father takes a bath with his son does not mean it's okay to walk naked in the house, for example. So these customs and statues and art is like apples and oranges.

    In the Shimane case we are talking about an OBJECT of Art. Not controversial, not sensual, not provocative, not erotic. It's not Robert Mapplethorp nude posters in public display. That there are people who complain just proves the lack of cultural education and it is for that reason alone that the statue should not be removed or covered.

    @Tahoochi If by Japanese culture you mean AKB dancing in front of statues of Buddha at a World Heritage site then I hope you will allow me to believe there is something wrong with Japan of in 2013. And in my dozen years in Japan I have not yet met any Japanese who can tell me two works by Michelangelo (or even Picasso) or has actually seen even one Kurosawa movie.

  • 1

    YuriOtani

    To the towns residents "GET A GRIP!!!"

  • -1

    realist

    The hypocrisy of Japan staggers me at times, even after all the years I have spent here. Japan is the number one producer of pornography, yet they want an artistic nude statue to have pants on? Please, get a life, Okuizumo, and enter the real world.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Let's face it, the whole town of Shimane is not "demanding underpants," is it?

    Why does JT have to exaggerate in this way.

    JT isn't exaggerating anything. The news company you need to look at is AFP. This is their article. JT isn't allowed to editorialize feeds from other news services.

    In regards to the townspeople, it seems they were looking for a way to object without pointing out the obvious. Toddlers being scared because of the statue's sudden appearance is a weak reason, at best. That said, I'm surprised the town officials weren't arrested for suspicion of obscenity. I would expect something along the lines of:

    Okuizumo Town officials were arrested Monday on suspicion of obscenity after displaying in Okuizumo a sculpture showing male genitals, police said.

    Hey, whats good for Tokyo and photographer Leslie Kee must be good for Shimane and the Okuizumo town officials, right?

  • 0

    Cary Layton

    Maybe the residents can put a Col. Sanders outfit on him.Beard and all.

  • 1

    Cary Layton

    ...Or a giant codpiece.The black prussian model like in "Blackadder".

  • 1

    timtak

    Or for that matter in black pants. Would he look less scary? http://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/8456689917

  • 1

    Himajin

    Japan is the number one producer of pornography, yet they want an artistic nude statue to have pants on?

    People keep saying this, but you are not allowed to show male genitals even in pornography, so yes, the statue is going to upset some people.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Timtak,

    Thanks for the interesting background. It's been a good read. Obviously, the issue I think most posters are having with the story is the perceived hypocrisy in the negative attention the David statue is receiving.

    If it isn't the public indoor onsens where adults and children bathe in the nude and in the open to outdoor public onsens where adults and children do the same, then it's the proliferation of highly sexually charged manga to found in virtually every convenience store across Japan.

    While you point out that it may very well not be a typical daily Japanese experience to find a naked man standing in a public park, why then is there not an equal amount of outcry for the clothing of a topless Venus de Milo? Naked women most certainly are not a common sight in public spaces either. Yet Venus gets nary a mention by these poor upset folks in Okuizumo.

    And then there are the fertility shrines. I live in this area, and there's a fairly famous one just up the street from Okuizumo called Yaegaki Jinja. If this minority of citizens in Okuizumo are offended by the sight of male genetalia, then the proliferation of anatomically correct wood and stone phalluses to be found there might very well inspire a cardiac event for some of these folks.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Himajin,

    "but you are not allowed to show male genitals even in pornography"

    This is not strictly true. To the best of my knowledge, Japanese law forbids the depiction of male (and female) genitalia in a sexual context, either by photographic or artificial mean.

    However, there are a number of publications currently out there that show full male frontal nudity, the most recent I can think of being the wildly popular sci-fi serialization "GANTZ."

    So it's clearly not the penises -- penes? -- that are at issue here. Or if they are, then it's only for this small group of concerned citizens in Okuizumo who seem to be largely unaware of their own culture, both popular and traditional.

    In any event, the title of the article is highly misleading. It's not the town calling for the clothing of David, but rather this small group. And it doesn't appear Okuizumo town officials are poised to acquiesce to their "demands" at all.

    So all's well that ends well. David's penis will still be allowed to bask in the sun.

  • 0

    Alejandro Dela Cruz

    LOL!

  • 0

    cagea

    I don't understand that why people argue only focusing on private parts of David ?! More important question they have to talk about is need of such western arts putting up on Shimane area. The Prefecture is very famous of an ancient civilization history. If they stand on the ground of Shimane, It seems to me they are avant‐garde monuments or are kinds of joke-art even though David and Miro are exactly master piece of art,

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    "More important question they have to talk about is need of such western arts putting up on Shimane area."

    Why can't Shimane Prefecture with all of its famous history and culture (Izumo Taisha, Iwami Ginzan, Matsue-jo, the once-home of Irish author Lafcadio Hearne) also partake in high art forms from other parts of the world? Is there a rule that states that being famous for ancient civilization and history precludes exposure to any other form of art or culture? That seems rather close-minded, to be quite honest.

    Shimane Prefecture is not some backwoods hillbilly area with folks steeped in superstition and witchcraft. It's a relatively modernized area with highways, a nuclear reactor, competing McDonald's chains, and by golly, we get our very first Starbucks in but a few short months. :-)

    Besides, I don't think the person who donated these sculptures (at great personal expense) looks at them as Avant Garde. And he most certainly does not view them as joke-art, whatever that may be.

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    @LFRA

    Shimane Prefecture is not some backwoods hillbilly area with folks steeped in superstition and witchcraft. It's a relatively modernized area with highways, a nuclear reactor, competing McDonald's chains, and by golly, we get our very first Starbucks in but a few short months. :-)

    I wonder how many barristas the locals will burn at the stake when they see all those glass cauldrons and chalices full of demonic potions?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    lol! Thanks for that. Good question. :-)

  • 0

    Fadamor

    This is not strictly true. To the best of my knowledge, Japanese law forbids the depiction of male (and female) genitalia in a sexual context, either by photographic or artificial mean.

    If that were true, then how did this happen?

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/renowned-photographer-leslie-kee-arrested-in-japan-for-alleged-obscenity

  • -2

    TheInterstat

    It is just a load of old sour Japanese men finding yet another thing to moan about as it appears to clash with their ever increasingly irrelevant 'culture'.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    "If that were true, then how did this happen? http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/renowned-photographer-leslie-kee-arrested-in-japan-for-alleged-obscenity

    Like I said, not strictly true. I have seen depictions of genitalia in comics that were neither pixelated nor banned.

    Perhaps the issue with the Singaporean photographer's photos concerned how he choose to depict those genitals. Maybe the photo spread was of a titilating nature. I have no idea. But I do know that genitals can be seen in some forms of Japanese media without the censors wigging out.

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