Our Lady Of Glow In The Dark

I’m still trying to figure out the pop fascination with Catholic symbols here in Japan. Totally divorced from religious tradition (Christianity never got much of a toehold here, thanks to serious banning of outsiders before 1868), for some reason stylish tough guys wear Our Lady Of Rude Kustoms on the back of their motorcycle jackets and sport crucifixes dangling from earlobes and silver chains around their necks. The Catholic-themed Christon Café serves Black Rage Of Satan pizza and Chef’s Selection Of Cheese With The Bible Toast, and is jammed with girls dressed like Little Bo Peep Meets Lestat.

I spotted these fabulous glow-in-the-dark Virgin Marys for sale at Village Vanguard, a store that’s basically Head Shop X Sky Mall. I’m especially fond of the little ones on the right, which definitely look like they have more than a little Godzilla in their family tree.

If you’d like to shop for weird and wacky stuff at Village Vanguard in Shimo-kitazawa the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & a map are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery seriespublished by Penguin/Intermix.

Published by Penguin/Intermix