In Northern Tokyo, outside of Shibamata Station is the statue of Tora-san.
The character is best known for the long-running film series “Otoko wa tsurai yo” (which translates to “It’s Tough Being a Man”) directed by Yoji Yamada and stars actor Atsumi Kiyoshi.
With a total of 48 installments which ran from 1969 to 1995 but would end with the death of Kiyoshi.
Because the film has been part of Japanese pop culture for several decades, you will often see people of all ages visiting the statue.
The Tora-san statue was built in 1999 by Shinmeikai, a local merchants association that collected donations for its installation.
The reason why the statue is in Shibamata is that Tora-san is a good man but has his faults (hot-temper and often getting drunk) and always having problems with women in each film. But where does he go for solace in some of his films, it’s in Shibamata where his uncle, aunt and young sister live.
And because Shibamata is a major location for Tora-san, it is also the home of a major temple but also the home of the museum for filmmaker Yamada Yoji and where you will see even more Tora-san sites and resources.
And similar to how Charlie Champ’s worn-out shoes were a symbol for his Tramp character, for Tora-san, it’s his worn-out sandals on the statue.
And for fans of the film series, it was announced by the Katsushika ward government the Tora-san statue will be joined with the statue of his sister Sakura (portrayed by Chieko Baisho).
For fans of the film, the statue is definitely worth visiting and more than likely, if you are a fan, you will definitely want to check out the Yamada Yoji museum and on your way to Shibamata, you are more than likely going to see the statue when exiting the station.
Definitely a statue worth visiting!
Here is a video from my live stream from Facebook: