In 2009, some Kobe locals raised money for, like, the best project ever: to create a full-scale statue of Tetsujin 28-Go (known to westerners as Gigantor).
The statue was erected in a park in the Nagata Ward (not far from Shin-Nagata train station), apparently to encourage people affected by the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the creator of the original Tetsujin 28-Go manga series, was also from Kobe.
What I love most is the triumphant pose, complete with double fist pump. May Tetsujin 28-Go spread victory throughout Japan – now and in the times ahead.
As I looked at this statue, I thought of a million things, including the occurrence of suffering, the idea of closure, my artistic interest in scale and how I could have rendered gigantism better in my previous book, hyper-exaggeration, and even a certain painting by Eugene Delacroix. In time, these thoughts will hopefully inform some new fiction.
PS How many photos can one take of such a statue? QUITE A FEW, BELIEVE ME.