Japanese Town Menaced by Giant Marble Phallus

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Japanese Town Menaced by Giant Marble Phallus


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 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhAEm76JGtM] 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 [http://japandailypress.com/michelangelos-masterpiece-statue-unnerves-japanese-towns-sensibilities-with-nudity-0622815]


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Superbun

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Sep 8, 2010
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"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.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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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.
 

Oskuro

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Nov 18, 2009
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Grey Carter said:
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!

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.
 

dragongit

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Feb 22, 2011
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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.
 

Chairman Miaow

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Nov 18, 2009
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Daystar Clarion said:
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.
 

FFP2

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Dec 24, 2012
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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.
 

Combustion Kevin

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Nov 17, 2011
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dragongit said:
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?
 

RobfromtheGulag

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May 18, 2010
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dragongit said:
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 <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanamara_Matsuri>few perhaps more liberal <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dnen_Matsuri>areas

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

Kargathia

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Jul 16, 2009
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Combustion Kevin said:
dragongit said:
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.
 

bananafishtoday

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Nov 30, 2012
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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.
 

The_Echo

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Mar 18, 2009
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This article was beautifully written. Well done, Mr. Carter. Definitely the literary highlight of my day, lame as that may be.
 

Falterfire

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Jul 9, 2012
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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.
 

Senare

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Aug 6, 2010
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Penis or not, a 16-foot statue could be pretty intimidating to a child.
 

Filiecs

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May 24, 2011
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Superbun said:
"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.
 

VanQ

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Oct 23, 2009
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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.
 

Chairman Miaow

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Nov 18, 2009
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bananafishtoday said:
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.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Jun 21, 2009
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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.