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Friday, May 25, 2012

'Sazae-san' character Namihei's lone lock of hair is lopped off of statue — twice

Kyodo

A bronze statue of Namihei, a well-known cartoon character, twice this month lost the trademark lone hair on the top of his bald head, according to people in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

News photo
Lock-less: A bronze statue of Namihei lacks the cartoon character's trademark lone hair in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday. KYODO

Neighborhood people first found that the 10-cm-long hair made of wire was missing around May 7. It had been screwed into and glued onto the statue's head.

Namihei stands with other statues of major characters from the beloved "Sazae-san" comic strip in front of Sakurashimmachi Station on the Tokyu Denentoshi Line.

A group of local shop and restaurant owners quickly attached a replacement.

Then the spare hair disappeared Sunday.

"We want to repair it, but we are still thinking it over because it might be plucked again," said Kenichi Sakaguchi, head of the local business group.

The merchants erected the statues in March to promote the area as "Sazae-san's town."

The group decided not to file a report with police after concluding that doing so would run counter to the spirit of the long-running cartoon.

"We hope it will never happen again," Sakaguchi said.

Sakurashimmachi is where Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992), the creator of "Sazae-san," spent her last years. There is a museum dedicated to her near the station.

The "Sazae-san" animated series, which started in 1969, is still running on Fuji TV.



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