Art Guide to Japan
Professional chainsaw artist and former world champion Kidokoro Keiji has created a stunningly realistic masterpiece, a bench in the shape of a Komodo dragon. The recreation of the world’s largest lizard is on display at the entrance to the Ryūjinmura Dragon Museum in the city of Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture. The museum is popular with reptile enthusiasts and also serves as a community gathering place.
The 2.75 meter long bench is made from locally grown camphor wood and took about 10 days to Kidokoro. With its lively pose and fine detailing, including the scales and inside of the mouth, the Komodo Dragon Bench looks very realistic.
Kidokoro says he did the work specifically for the new facility, which was built with the purpose of enlivening the small community of Ryūjin. Kidokoro fashioned his creation into a bench to make it practical as well as decorative. The design parallels the theme of the Museum of the Dragon, and the giant lizard was specifically selected as the motif because it is an existing creature most reminiscent of the image of a “dragon”.
“It’s meant to be a place where visitors can take photos,” Kidokoro says of the artwork. “I hope this will add to the pleasure of visiting the museum.”
The Dragon Museum opened in July 2022. In addition to exhibits of sculptures and other dragon-themed works, the facility includes a shop where local products can be purchased as well as a local branch of the post office.
(Originally published in Japanese on Kyōdoshi.com August 23, 2022. Translated and edited by Nippon.com. Banner photo: The Komodo dragon-shaped bench outside the Dragon Museum in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture. © Kii Mimpo.)
[© Kii Mimpō/Kyōdoshi conference. All rights reserved.]