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A full lineup of the creative costumes (via @_eillie_/Twitter)

The annual Halloween parade in the city of Kawasaki, Japan usually includes thousands of human participants, but few living paintings. However, this year’s event included a cadre of possessed masterworks who miraculously stumbled into the streets of the Greater Tokyo Area wearing fishnet stockings and heels.

What ghoulish specters of art history’s past appeared in the Kanagawa Prefecture this weekend? A self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” and Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

Joining the ranks of these canonical saints of art history is the messiah himself, Beast Jesus. Apart from his relationship to Jesus Christ, Beast Jesus is known for his own set of miracles. Among other things, the botched fresco painting has spurred a comical opera, saved a small Spanish town, and founded a small museum. And shockingly, this is not the first time that a Beast Jesus costume has made headlines. This may, however, be the first time we’ve seen the distorted image of Christ championed amongst some of Western art’s greatest hits. At least these possessed paintings didn’t have to stay completely still through the entire parade.

Zachary Small

Zachary Small was the senior writer at Hyperallergic and has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, Artforum, and other publications. They have also appeared on WNYC. They tweet and instagram...

One reply on “Art History Parades Around the Streets of Japan Ahead of Halloween”

  1. …and yet American “activists” shit their pants when white people put on a Kimono in Boston, and Western Japonisme is………. CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!!!!!!!….. as if “anime”, the clipped transliteration of “animation” in Japanese, isn’t.

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