All About Japan

Fukuoka's Giant Gorilla Is Symbol of Strength

Weird Japan Fukuoka Kyushu

We are soon approaching a full year since the re-emergence of the legendary yokai Amabie, whom you might recall famously said: “If an epidemic spreads, draw a picture of me and show it to everyone.” So we did.

Thousands upon thousands of pictures flooded the Internet and then came the Amabie doughnuts, Amabie Hello Kitties, Amabie personal seals, and conspiracy theories that Amabie is actually former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

And where has all that gotten us? That’s right, a first-class ticket to bupkisville with Amabie drunk and in the driver’s seat. COVID-19 cases are running more rampant than ever and a state of emergency has been once again declared in seven of Japan’s most populous prefectures.

So it’s high time we hand Amabie its walking papers and move on to some other idol to worship. And who better to revere than a seven-meter-tall (23-ft) gorilla?

Called “Giant Straw Scarecrow Gorilla: Proud Gorilla 2020,” this massive yet detailed primate was erected by Chikuzen Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. It took two months to construct and was completed in early December of 2020. The ape’s lifelike hair was made from rice straw layered on top of a steel frame. The likeness of a gorilla was chosen as a symbol of power and strength in the face of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.

This is actually the sixth in the town’s annual giant scarecrow series, but it’s plain to see that they really outdid themselves this time around. Did we mention the eyes glow red in the evening? Because they do. I for one welcome our new gorilla savior, and hope it will hurl a mighty feces at the coronavirus before the town takes it down at the end of January.

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