Japanese Town Menaced by Giant Marble Phallus

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Japanese Town Menaced by Giant Marble Phallus

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Residents of a small Japanese town have suggested underpants for Michelangelo's David.

The naked human body is a beautiful thing, when it's in an art gallery. In a public park, it has a tendency to alarm people. Such is the case in the small Japanese town of Okuizumo in the western Shimane Prefecture.

According to Japan Daily Press, a local businessman paid for 16-foot-tall replicas of western art's most famous sculptures, Michelangelo's David and Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo - to be erected in a nearby park. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a bit of a cock-up, as the park is part of a complex that contains sports arenas and a play area for young children. The statues are, of course, beautiful rather than obscene, but it seems the toddlers and their parents are unable to tell the deferens. Things quickly came to a head, and the townsfolk decided to get the town's officials involved.

"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," said town official Yoji Morinaga. "They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children."

The townsfolk have apparently suggested that David be equipped with a pair of underpants, which could be hilarious depending on the design.

While funny, this case does highlight Japan's hot-and-cold relationship with dangly bits and the legal issues that surround them. Uncensored depictions of genitals in pornography is illegal In Japan (which is why Japanese porn tends to look like a repetitive level of Wolfenstein 3D), but critics of the law argue that the way it's enforced leaves little room for non-pornographic works. Earlier this week, Singaporean photographer, Leslie Kee, was arrested for selling photo books that contained uncensored photos of male genitals. Kee has since been released, but the charges against him - which can carry a two year jail term and a $27,000 fine - have not yet been dropped.

Source: Japan Daily Press

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The title of this article alone made me start giggling uncontrollably, bravo Grey.

"The statues are, of course, beautiful rather than obscene, but it seems the toddlers and their parents are unable to tell the DEFERENS. Things quickly came to a head, and the townsfolk decided to get the town's officials involved."

Difference*

That is all.

Deferens.

I see what you did there Grey.

Some people will correct you, like the guy above, but I see what you did.

I see it.

Grey Carter:
The naked human body is a beautiful thing, when it's in an art gallery.

Bravo! More reinforcement for the idea that we should all feel ashamed of our bodies! Well done! [/sarcasm]

Really, can't people get over that? Specially regarding children. When kids see a penis the giggle and go "pee pee" rather than be offended or scarred. It's the adults seeing all kinds of evil.

(No, not defending those who show their "pee pee" with bad intentions)

Mature a bit, planet.

I somehow remember there being images of a Japanese festival, where they would parade around a gigantic wooden penis. And they suddenly have a problem with a statue? And remember this is japan we are talking about, they have a weird sense of modesty.

Daystar Clarion:
Deferens.

I see what you did there Grey.

Some people will correct you, like the guy above, but I see what you did.

I see it.

I also liked the bit about things coming to a head.

If it wasn't near a place where kids could see it I would be all for statues of naked men...

That came out wrong.

dragongit:
I somehow remember there being images of a Japanese festival, where they would parade around a gigantic wooden penis. And they suddenly have a problem with a statue? And remember this is japan we are talking about, they have a weird sense of modesty.

I second this, maybe it's my western set of cultural understanding but when you have a festival that glorifies smacking eachother with rubber genetalia, this shouldn't be much of an issue, right?

dragongit:
I somehow remember there being images of a Japanese festival, where they would parade around a gigantic wooden penis. And they suddenly have a problem with a statue? And remember this is japan we are talking about, they have a weird sense of modesty.

It seems to be relegated to a few perhaps more liberal areas

The puns in this article were bad. It's like an xpost from reddit.

Combustion Kevin:

dragongit:
I somehow remember there being images of a Japanese festival, where they would parade around a gigantic wooden penis. And they suddenly have a problem with a statue? And remember this is japan we are talking about, they have a weird sense of modesty.

I second this, maybe it's my western set of cultural understanding but when you have a festival that glorifies smacking eachother with rubber genetalia, this shouldn't be much of an issue, right?

All penis-related issues aside, if everyone would act year-round like they do on some festivals, it would be a bloody nuisance.
For example, Spain has a festival dedicated to pelting everyone in sight with tomatoes. You try that any other time of the year, you're in for a bad time.

OT: the mere notion of equipping the david with lime-green boxer shorts adorned with little blue turtles makes me in favour of this proposal.

I'll never understand why some people insist, when penis put to paper, on writing such silly puns. They add nothing of value and only interfere with the thrust of the article. If you don't believe me, take a readers' pole. I bet you'd find most wood complain.

This article was beautifully written. Well done, Mr. Carter. Definitely the literary highlight of my day, lame as that may be.

I... what?

There's only one real solution to stop kids from seeing genitals: Duct tape underwear onto them as soon as they're born. We can't let them know what the human body looks like in case they go mad from the revelation.

I approve of this course of action. As everybody knows, small children are as sensitive to the sight of the human body (Even in a totally non-sexualized context) in the same way the rest of us are affected by the sight of Cthulhu. It's okay if you want your child to be a gibbering lunatic bent on the destruction of Earth but that doesn't mean my child has to be.

Penis or not, a 16-foot statue could be pretty intimidating to a child.

oh god please make him wear boxers with little pink hearts in them.

Superbun:
"The statues are, of course, beautiful rather than obscene, but it seems the toddlers and their parents are unable to tell the DEFERENS. Things quickly came to a head, and the townsfolk decided to get the town's officials involved."

Difference*

That is all.

It's a reference to the Vas Deferens, which is the part of the male reproduction system that connects the epididimys to the seminal vessel.

I heard about this, I thought it was silly at first too but considering they're in a public space where children play, it's not hard to believe some parents would take issue.

I would not have gotten the "Deferens" joke had I not spent the last 5 years working in a pathology lab. Made me chuckle, I'll admit.

bananafishtoday:
I'll never understand why some people insist, when penis put to paper, on writing such silly puns. They add nothing of value and only interfere with the thrust of the article. If you don't believe me, take a readers' pole. I bet you'd find most wood complain.

Those were all appalling. Bravo.

Maybe those people started complaining because they felt intimidated by the size of David's endowment?
A way of covering their shame, so to speak.

Yes, that was in terrible taste, but someone had to rise to the occasion.

Well I sure picked the wrong day to sleep in! :(
This is one issue I didn't have thought the Japanese would be so testi about. The solution isn't hard, just drawing a single black line across the shaft should be enough. Why is everyone getting so excited about this? That town must be full of stiffs.

Grey Carter:
The townsfolk have apparently suggested that David be equipped with a pair of underpants, which could be hilarious depending on the design:

I think you mean.

how hilarious that could be depends on the design

You're welcome :P

VanQQisH:
I heard about this, I thought it was silly at first too but considering they're in a public space where children play, it's not hard to believe some parents would take issue.

I would not have gotten the "Deferens" joke had I not spent the last 5 years working in a pathology lab. Made me chuckle, I'll admit.

I used a dic tionary to check the relevance :P

I'm sorry but someone needs to whap Japan upside the head. This is a nation that is internationally famed for being the home of earth's most bizzare perverts. Something new, and eye bleedingly shocking comes out of Japan constantly. They produce rape simulators for personal entertainment, and shocking porno movies of every variety of animation and live action availible. Even the comic books they release for kids oftentimes include a decent amount of sexual material...

This is the nation that suddenly cares about a statue with it's wang hanging out? I mean seriously... I understand the whole "outward face" concept but Japan needs to get some grasp of it's own identity and who it is. To me it sounds like some of this "morality policing" seems to be vague efforts to telling the world they really aren't that bizzare or perverted... when really... yeah, their popular culture kind of is, no matter what kind of face they try and put on it.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Japan masterminded this whole thing as a stunt, from the accusations, outward, looking at the outrage "David" has caused in the western world from prudes in the past, and decided to make it seem like the same thing happening there, to "prove" it's the same.

I know a lot of people probably won't like what I'm saying, but given the amount of time I've spent on the Internet alone going "WTF Japan" to the point where I constantly think I've seen everything they could do, only to be proven wrong a month or so later (tops), I just can't take them complaining about "David" seriously. That's obscene, but we've got games like "Rapelay" being defended, with Japan mostly just resigning not to release them to the US. Articles about people in Japan marrying dating sim characters IRL (I think that made it onto The Escapist at one point), and defenses of "Dead Or Alive" on cultural merits (personally I think the game is fine, but I'm honest about being a perv at least)...

If I'd have to guess the actual Japanese problem with David would be the guy being too small... put a giant Urotsukidoji tentecle between his legs, and have it wave around through the crowd with animatronics, periodically shooting cooling liquid out over the passing crowds to help deal with the heat on hot days (or whatever) and maybe they would react better.... perhaps something was lost in translation of the article. >:)

I remember seeing videos of Bayonetta adds where people were encoiraged to remove pieces of her clothing a square of a time as they passed by it in a crowd... and videos of someone putting out a soft breast sculpture for another ad for people to cuddle and put their face in as they walked by (that one made it to Youtube I believe).

I think people need to realize that "Japan" doesn't have some collective consciousness.
Some people think the statue is fine, some clearly don't. Some people probably go to Honen Matsuri every year, some probably think it's obscene.

It's like they live in the dark ages when it comes to this stuff. They can't tell the difference between a tasteful nude (and one of the best sculptures of the human figure ever made) and pornography, that should say something to them. Haha, they raise some pretty scared kids. As early back as I can remember, if I saw that statue I probably would have wanted to climb it.

Superbun:
"The statues are, of course, beautiful rather than obscene, but it seems the toddlers and their parents are unable to tell the DEFERENS. Things quickly came to a head, and the townsfolk decided to get the town's officials involved."

Difference*

That is all.

I don't know why someone didn't do this sooner but, it's a reference to the Vas Deferens, the canal in which semen is carried from the testicles to the ejaculatory duct.

the japanese have a weird attitude these days to sex which is in alot of ways due to western influences. japan had a very healthy attitude for the most part in regards to sex before a certain american gunboat opened up the country to the west and brought with it alot of puritanical morality which they are still dealing with today

Reality: Copying old episodes of the Simpsons since 1990.

Therumancer:
I'm sorry but someone needs to whap Japan upside the head. This is a nation that is internationally famed for being the home of earth's most bizzare perverts. Something new, and eye bleedingly shocking comes out of Japan constantly. They produce rape simulators for personal entertainment, and shocking porno movies of every variety of animation and live action availible. Even the comic books they release for kids oftentimes include a decent amount of sexual material...

You should bring it up at the meetings every Thursday night. You know, the ones where the entire nation of Japan gets together and unanimously decides how everyone acts for the next week.

Sound abit like that old Simspons episode when Marge protest against the Itchy and Scratchy show. What's next? They're going to protest to that businessman for comission it to be made and place over there in the first place?

Deferens. Someone has been polishing their Latin. Though not enough as Deferens means to Carry away.

If you wanted to sound Latiny should have used discrimen.

The article mentioned statues of both David and the Venus de Milo.

Guess it's only morally offensive when it concerns the male body.

Senare:
Penis or not, a 16-foot statue could be pretty intimidating to a child.

But this is a country with a giant robot statue. What's scarier for a kid, the clearly marble guy, or the possibly real giant robot? :P

The ironic thing is that every Japanese town I've ever been in has public art statues of nude not-quite-adult girls.

"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," said town official Yoji Morinaga. "They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children."

I underlined the parts that people need to pay close attention to. I suspect this is journalist-speak for "a handful of nutjobs, loons, and bored housewives." Having worked in public schools in Japan for many years, I'm well-used to the down side of Japanese consensus-making. Which is that everyone gets listened to and treated like they're being taken seriously, no matter how ridiculous their position is.

It doesn't mean people will actually do anything about their position. But there will be a lot of awkward hemming and hawing and muzukashiiing until they go through with whatever the oldest person in the room wanted anyway.

Binnsyboy:

Senare:
Penis or not, a 16-foot statue could be pretty intimidating to a child.

But this is a country with a giant robot statue. What's scarier for a kid, the clearly marble guy, or the possibly real giant robot? :P

Japanese kids love massive robots. Provided they don't have some kind of techno-dong.

Katatori-kun:
muzukashiiing

I've no idea what exactly this word means, but the idea of knowing how to say it intrigues me.

OT: Yeah... Um... I'm going to go with that one guy and say it's probably just all of the loonies.

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