In the city center of Niigata, in northern Japan, there is a street in honor of the veteran manga artist Shinji Mizushima, who happens to be Niigata-born. His best-known work deals with baseball, and the street in question contains statues of some of his characters, including batsman Taro Yamada.
Late in 2014, the publisher and calligrapher Shinya Nishihara started an art project based around this particular statue. He encouraged girls to pose with it:
The objective is to make it look as if the statue is whacking them on the bottom.
Hence the name of the project: Ketsu Bat Girl – ‘Ketsu’ being Japanese for the part of the girls’ anatomy that’s getting the bat.
Many of the girls really entered into the spirit of it, pulling a lovely range of ‘just whacked’ faces:
And they often illustrated the sheer force of Yamada’s imaginary whacking…
… by launching themselves bodily into the air!
So, no home run for Taro Yamada.
No sore bottoms for the Ketsu Bat Girls.
But they do get our admiration and applause for their inventiveness, as does Shinya Nishihara, for thinking up the idea in the first place!