Merlion is cool because of these creative adaptations of it by the Japanese

They quite into it.

By Tanya Ong | August 10, 2017

The Merlion is a mythical creature created by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (now the Singapore Tourism Board) in the 60s to attract tourists to the island.

Since then, it has been used as an icon to represent Singapore and has become popular with people all around the world.

Some people, such as the Japanese, really love the Merlion.

Remember when Japanese wrestler Shinsuke Nakamura came to Singapore, took a goofy picture with the Merlion and posted it on Instagram?

Here it is:

Im Merlion

A post shared by Shinsuke Nakamura (@shinsukenakamura) on

And here are more interesting places where the Merlion has appeared:

#1: In a Japanese commercial

In this All Nippon Airways (ANA) commercial, a woman suggests visiting the Merlion in Singapore. Her husband responds rather strangely: “Just have it come to us instead.”

Then this happened:

via GIPHY

The full ad can be found here.

#2: In an anime

In the anime Cowboy Bebop, a videotape from the protagonist’s childhood is played and it contains footage of the Merlion, suggesting that the main character is from Singapore. 

Here is the video (the Merlion appears at 38s):

#SGPride.

#3: In a hotel room

In 2011, Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi designed an art installation called The Merlion Hotel for the Singapore Biennale in 2011.

The hotel was temporarily constructed around the 8m-tall Merlion statue.

Photo from Contemporary Japanese Art

Just imagine how creepy it would be for the Merlion to watch you sleep.

#4: Outside a kimono shop

There are several statues of the Merlion in Singapore, but in 2016, PM Lee spotted one in Japan.

Here’s his Facebook post:

According to PM Lee,

“We came across this merlion at a kimono shop in Karuizawa, and naturally asked how it got there. It seems that some 35 years ago the owner of the shop used to visit Singapore, and liked Singapore very much. So he brought this merlion back to display in his shop. The shop has since passed to his descendants. The business has been in the family for 18 generations (the signboard says 17, because it has not been updated)!”

#5: As a facemask

In Singapore, there are loads of Merlion merchandise available for purchase. The common ones include biscuits, chocolates and keychains.

But a Japanese face mask manufacturer decided to take things to a whole new level by creating a Merlion face mask.

Photo from The Farm Store

The spouting water is a nice touch.

#6: As a Gundam figurine

At the Gundam Fiesta 2010, Bandai Japan specially created a Merlion Gundam.

It looks pretty badass with three heads:

Photo from Photobucket user Desmond Neo

It’s cool that people like the Merlion.

 

Top image adapted from Farm Store, Photobucket, and Contemporary Japanese Art.

 

1819 is a labour of love by Mothership.sg where we tell stories from Singapore’s history, heritage & culture. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!


About Tanya Ong

Tanya is a keen bean who strives to put the “art” in “articulate”. She also knows pi to the 35th decimal place for absolutely no reason at all.

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