Tweet of the Week #144: Naoshima’s Pumpkin Blown Away by Typhoon Lupit

Japan's famous avant-garde piece was almost lost at sea.

By 2 min read

Avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin, a symbol of Naoshima, an island dedicated to contemporary art, was unfortunately swept away by the waves when the strong winds of Typhoon Lupit hit the coast.

Battered by the high tide waves, the iconic sculpture smashed against the pier while the Benesse Art Site staff stood by powerless. The pumpkin eventually reached the shore but sustained some severe damages. It has now been recovered and is under the care of the Benesse Art Site.

No one knows yet why Art Site employees didn’t move the pumpkin as they usually do when the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announces nasty weather. Still, Japan Twitter was buzzing with tweets of the poor pumpkin being tossed by waves.

Poor pumpkin





The pumpkin this morning.

The waves are awful!”

Is Naoshima ok?





“Looks like Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkin got washed away…


The picture is before it was washed away.

I wonder if Naoshima is okay.”

The symbol of Naoshima


“The symbol of Naoshima is… #Typhoon9”

They didn’t carry it away?


“By the way, when I heard about this, I was like, ‘What?!’ I thought the yellow pumpkin in Naoshima was glued to the ground, but I heard that it can be lifted and carried away during typhoons to prevent it from being swept away.”

Typhoons don’t have names in Japan

You’re also expected to go to work during a typhoon.

While the English media reported on Typhoon Lupit, you may have noticed that Japanese news referred to Typhoon N°9. In Japan, typhoons are not named but numbered. Thus, Typhoon N°9 is the ninth typhoon of 2021.

The only exception to the rule is when a typhoon has been particularly powerful and devastating, in which case the Japan Meteorological Agency will give it a memorable name. That was the case twice in September and October 2019, with Faxai and Hagibis typhoons. The JMA has officially named only a handful of typhoons since 1954.


Japanese Romaji English
直島なおしま naoshima Naoshima
なみ nami Wave
草間くさま彌生やよい kusama yayoi Artist Yayoi Kusama
ながされる nagasareru Be swept away
画像がぞう gazou Picture
台風たいふう9きゅうごう taifuu kyuu gou Typhoon N°9
はじめていたとき hajimete kiita toki The first time I heard…
地面じめん jimen Ground
接着せっちゃくされる secchakusareru Be glued
固定こていされる koteisareru Be fixed
げる mochiageru Raise, lift
運べはこ hakoberu Can be carried



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