Sometimes you’re trudging home and dreading getting on a crowded train, then you find THIS! How great is it that they have a peeing boy statue smack in the middle of the train platform at the otherwise grim Hamamatsucho Station? As if that weren’t cheering enough, for over fifteen years this bronze nude taking a perpetual whizz has been dressed in a spanking new outfit every month by a team of faithful volunteers. From fireman to Ultraman, the little dude has donned a hundred and fifty-five different handcrafted outfits, including…
…making like a samurai to usher in the Year of the Monkey (January 2016)
February 2016: Ultraman!
March 2016: A brave Tokyo fireman
In January, he always rings in the new year dressed to impress, accompanied by the latest zodiac animal
In February 2014, he went to the Winter Olympics…
…but usually the volunteers feel sorry for the little nudester in February, so he gets a new parka and handknitted beanie.
In March he always does a stint in the Tokyo Fire Department
Usually in April he’s wearing a cute little uniform like all the other 6-year-olds on their first day of school, but in 2011 after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, he’s dressed in a radiation suit and carrying a “Ganbare Nihon” flag, in solidarity with the rescue workers.
This year some sort of cosplayer must have been in charge of the couture, because he sported a Year of the Tiger kigurumi suit in January, and reindeer antlers sprouting from his Santa hat in December.
November is Dress Like A Fireman month again, and in 2015 he’s a throwback to fireman of yore, although they drew the line at giving him the traditional full-body tattoos that would have gone with it.
May is Boys’ Day, in which male offspring are encouraged to make like a junior samurai. In 2008, he’s wearing the usual origami helmet, but not much else. Must have been hella hot that year.
If you go to the website page for June of 2007, you’ll see that big brother’s been stuck doing some babysitting while he takes care of business.
I’m sensing a little red-green colorblindness in whoever made 2006’s December Santa suit
Whoa, some volunteer really went rogue in 2005! Top hat and tails for New Years, the world’s wat-I-don’t-even cosplay for May, and in August they sent him out after big game – check out the rhinoceros beetle cage.
Hmm, he kind of went native in February of 2004. What’s that all about?
In June it pours like a banshee pretty much every day, but the volunteers never let the little dude face the elements without a raincoat.
Every September it’s time for the little man to put his shoulder to the local o-mikoshi as they parade it through the streets for the fall festival. In 2002, he gets to wear a righteous drunken fool mask
Not sure what’s going on there with the October hat, but the silly March one is apparently Tokyo Fire Department mascotwear.
And here’s when it all began.
An update, for your viewing pleasure: 2016 and 2017!
They really outdid themselves for the Year of the Monkey in January 2016
And you gotta love the mysterious orange costume for February 2017
Come say hi to the little nude dude the next time you’re in Tokyo! Head all the way to the end of the Hamamatsucho Yamanote Line platform (going in the Shibuya direction) and the little guy will greet you with a neverending stream!
Special thanks to the intrepid volunteers who do this every month, and took the photos for 2000-2017. If you’d like to see more and bigger views of each set of togs, you can find them on the volunteer website
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it… read more
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had