Hiro-san Goes to the Spa
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Artist’s Statement

Free-standing figure of a Japanese businessman on vacation.

Height: 22 in. (55 cm).

Body is overdyed cotton fabric on a wire armature. Wool hair.

Clothing: cotton Japanese yukata fabric.

Accessories: Handmade zori (shoes). Cell phone of Paperclay. The purchased camera was modified to make it more realistic.

Still available (3/5/00) at $545.00 plus shipping.

Hiro-san is a Japanese salaryman (businessman) on vacation at an onsen (hot spring). At least he’s trying to be on vacation, but he can't seem to leave his cell phone behind.

He is on his way to the spa for a soak in the hot water, wearing a yukata and hachimaki from his hotel. The spa is in a very scenic area, so of course he is carrying his camera.

This fellow was a body in search of a story for over a year! When I finally decided he resembled a middle-aged Japanese business man, I had to decide on how he would be dressed.

Since the Japanese frequently go to the hot springs on vacation, I chose that as his persona. Most hotels in Japan have a unique design printed on their yukatas, so I looked for a real yukata print that seemed as if it might belong at a hotel. Then I had to choose the rest of the costume.

He is a tourist, hence the camera. He is also a businessman, so he needs to have his trusty cell phone. To bring him into proper fashion, I gave him rubber-soled sandals and a traditional headband. What does a salaryman wear under his yukata? Hiro-san is wearing plaid boxer shorts.

The biggest problem with Hiro-san was finding an appropriate fabric for his yukata. Scale and design had to look “right”.