Sunday, November 13, 2011

Japan's Little Boy Peeing Statue (小便小僧 Shoumben Koushou)

This post is for tourists to Japan.... Especially those who are in need of a restroom...

At Christmas taken from the JR platform

There is something weird about Japan, if you haven't already noticed. But I'm not talking about the usual stuff you see on Youtube or read about in tech geek magazines.... I'm talking about statues of little boys peeing in the train stations around Japan.

Not only are there statues of little boys peeing in public, the Japanese dress up these statues to fit the tastes of the seasons and for promotional campaigns. Fact of the matter is that, even though I see this guy often, I've never seen him naked and without clothes!

The closest one I know about is at Hamamatsucho station on the JR line here in Tokyo. He doesn't really have a name like "Mike" or "Tony" or "Junji" or "Ken," He is merely called "Shouben Kousho" (The Peeing Boy). 

The ancient Japanese story about this boy is that he had drank so much water and he had to pee so bad that he had the longest pee in the history of the universe and so, as the gods would have it, he peed so long that he became petrified in stone.... Nah. Not really. I just made that up. Don't really know what the story is here. Maybe I'll ask the wife.

She said to look it up in Wikipedia. Ok. I did. Here it is, under Mannekin Pis:

There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (now Neder-over-Heembeek). The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them. From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.

OK. That explains absolutely nothing about why there is this statue at Hamamatsucho station in Tokyo... Excepting the USA bombed the hell out of this station during the war... Maybe that's what all the peeing is about. I know that if I were trying to just get home after work and planes were dropping bombs on us as I waited for the 5:15, I'd probably pee my pants too... Why bother going to the restroom when bombs are dropping all around you? 

Heck, there's lots of legends. Check them at Wikipedia. I think mine is probably the most realistic.

The Peeing little boy statue is peeing on the #3 platform at Hamamatsucho station on the JR East line...

You can see tons more monthly photos of Hamamatsucho station's Peeing Boy statue here at the Gallery (JR浜松町駅 小便小僧 ギャラリー):

In other parts of Japan, they have their own Peeing Boy statues too. Threre's another one at Kita-Kyushu station near Fukuoka in Kyushu, southern Japan and in Belgium.

Anyway, you usually won't find stuff about the Peeing Boy in tourist magazines and books... But I recommend taking your picture next to him if you come here. Why not? After all, what's wrong with a little boy peeing in public? Unless you are some sort of pervert!

Here's a map to Hamamatsucho station:

Thanks to Nick Bennett

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