Museum Christmas display shows Santa Claus chatting online amid pandemic

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A colorful styrofoam display of Santa Claus interacting online with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and tennis champion Naomi Osaka amid the coronavirus pandemic was revealed at a museum in Hyogo Prefecture on Friday.

During the Christmas Day period, figures of various notable figures of the year will be shown on the roof and exterior walls of the Uroko House (House of Scales) Museum alongside Santa Claus in the historic Kitano district of Kobe.

The museum expresses its gratitude to the medical staff at this year’s exhibit by dressing Santa Claus in blue to represent the protective gowns worn by healthcare workers on the front lines, with the words “Merry Christmask” below , a pun on the welcome message and the masks worn by many to prevent the spread of the virus.

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“It was difficult to decide on the subjects (for the exhibition) because the main focus in the world was the coronavirus,” said Tomoka Sakihara, 57, who is in charge of the exhibition, who is about 3 meters tall. high.

“I’m glad we finally made it at this time of year,” she added.

Other characters pictured on the roof include Ken Shimura, a burlesque comedian who died of the virus in March, and the legendary youkai monster Amabie, who featured in a 19th century woodblock newspaper newspaper she prophesied of an epidemic. Social media users posted the image of the monster, wishing for a quick end to the pandemic.

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The annual Christmas exhibit at the museum began in 2009.

In 2019, Santa Claus donned a rugby uniform to represent the Rugby World Cup hosted by Japan earlier that year and held a frame with the word Reiwa – the name of the new era after the Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in May of this year – written on it.

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