Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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If you don’t like bugs, living or dead, then perhaps you might want to sit this one out.

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Yoneji Inamura, a resident of Gunma Prefecture, has created some unusual sculptures.

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

This samurai doll of Nitta Yoshisada, according to Naver, was created in 1970. It took ten months to complete and is made from 5,000 preserved insects. The statue was displayed in his home for Children’s Day in May.

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs

[Photo: Naver]

Let’s get a closer look.

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

Inamura was criticized for taking all these insect lives, so he decided to make a statue of a Thousand-Armed Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy, and hold a memorial for the dead bugs.

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Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs

[Photo: Naver]

The statue is made from different kinds of beetles, including jewel beetles and Japanese rhinoceros beetles. In total, over 20,000 insects were used—which is way more than were used for the samurai statue.

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Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs

[Photo: Naver]

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs
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[Photo: Naver]

This statue, which measure 180 cm including the pedestal, was finished in 1975 and took around five years to finish. Inamura, who is 95 years old this year, hasn’t made any more bug sculptures since.

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Illustration for article titled Japanese Statues Made with Dead Bugs

[Photo: Naver]

The Kannon insect statue is on display in Inamura’s local town hall.

Top photo: Naver

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

Inamura was criticized for taking all these insect lives, so he decided to make a statue of a Thousand-Armed Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy, and hold a memorial for the dead bugs.

The statue is made from different kinds of beetles, including jewel beetles and Japanese rhinoceros beetles. In total, over 20,000 insects were used—which is way more than were used for the samurai statue.

So in response to killing a bunch of insects to make a statue he...made another statue of even more killed insects. i mean...it looks amazing but isn’t that kind of ignoring the original criticism? maybe that was the point?