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Monday, August 05, 2013

Sawari Daikoku - a Japanese god you touch


Sawari Daikoku (Touching Daikoku) by Masayuki Nagare, Marunouchi Tokyo.

 On the side of Eitai-dori Street in Tokyo's Marunouchi central business district is a shiny black modern statue of the Japanese Shinto deity, Daikoku god of wealth. This statue is known as Sawari Daikoku, or "Touching Daikoku" after the tradition of touching a statue of Daikoku in order to become rich.

Sawari Daikoku was carved in 1973 by the self-taught sculptor Masayuki Nagare (born 1923). Nagare was born in Nagasaki prefecture, entered the literature department of Tokyo's Ritsumeikan University in 1942, but dropped out. At the end of the war, in 1945, he had been drafted into the army and was the pilot of a Zero fighter.

Following the end of the war, Nagare traveled the world, and taught himself to sculpt.

Sawari Side view of Sawari Daikoku (Touching Daikoku) by Masayuki Nagare, Marunouchi Tokyo.

The "Touching Daikoku" can be seen in front of the Marunouchi Eiraku Building, near Otemachi-ekimae intersection. The statue's patches of extraordinary gloss are from forty years of being stroked by hands eager for more.

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