This is the viral moment a famous pumpkin statue is swept into the sea from its beachfront base as a typhoon batters a Japanese island.
The Yellow Pumpkin by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, 92, was swept out to sea off the coast of Naoshima, an island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea that is part of Kagawa Prefecture, on 9th August.
Typhoon Lupit battered the nearby island of Kyushu on Sunday night and moved over the Seto Inland Sea and the small island of Naoshima, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that continued until Monday evening.
Naoshima, also dubbed ‘Art Island’ and visited by Hollywood star Keanu Reeves in 2019, is home to numerous art installations and galleries, among them Kusama’s ‘Yellow Pumpkin’ from 1994.
Due to the passing typhoon, local residents feared for the beloved pumpkin statue as it was being pounded by the high waves.
At about 10.30 am, the installation gave way and the dislodged pumpkin ended up in the sea.
Fortunately for the island’s art fans, the sculpture did not go out to sea and remained on the shore, being buffeted by the waves.
Representatives of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima responsible for the installation were able to retrieve it but said it hit the pier numerous times and was severely damaged.
As a result, local residents questioned why the piece was not removed by officials earlier as is normally the case when a typhoon hits.
According to reports, it was the ninth typhoon to hit Japan this year with more expected until October with the peak in August and September.