Kazuo Umezu’s Shimashima House

March 18, 2008

Apparently comics artist Kazuo Umezu’s house may remain a candy cane.


His neighbors had sued to stop him, but the judge ruled in his favor. Libertarianism might yet take hold in the collectivist isles. Umezu, old enough not to care, has shirts, umbrellas, even a floor totally decked out in stripes. Why? He’d never seen such a thing before. Neither had his neighbors.  Which raises the question: upon what exactly does a Japanese neighborhood association frown? Since bizarre Japanese architecture’s practically a worldwide cliche. It doesn’t take Kisho Kurokawa to turn in the likes of this house of fugu:


But it’s in an entertainment district. Perhaps this typically boxy residential neighborhood’s more to their liking. This from around Mt. Koya, where Umezu & I used to live (not together, or in the same decade). Neither its charming dumpiness, nor the local Shingon Buddhist monks, explain why Umezu turned to candystriping as an affront to the place.


Which raises another question: what did the neighbors do when PL (Perfect Liberty, an Osaka-based new religion) planted their headquarters in sleepy Tondabayashi? When it looks like a spaceship that flew to the earth from a far-off star and promptly melted?


(orig. report seen via Tom Spurgeon; Japanese report & photo from Sponichi Annex; point-n-click snapshots mine)

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