I recently  interviewed Edward Harrison, the author and photographer behind “Idle Idol,” a book that catalogues many of the countless plastic mascots that stand vigil outside of stores in Japan. They tend to be life-size or much smaller.

But here in Kawaguchi, a northern suburb of Tokyo, I have found a couple of exceptions to that rule. Allow me to introduce the Kawaguchi incarnation of Marilyn Monroe…

The original Marilyn had her skirt lofted by the wind of a subway train passing beneath a sidewalk grate, but Mega-Marilyn is tall enough to get the same effect from passing traffic in the street.

My, what big thighs she has.

Mega-Marilyn’s job, which she seems to do well, is to attract attention to Nihon Kikai, a local company that makes signs. A photo gallery on the firm’s website shows that much of the work they’ve done for other companies is nicer-looking than the signage on their own building.

She’s got legs that could stop traffic. Incidentally, the tall building seen a block away and across the street is a hospital whose rooftop nameplate is another example of Nihon Kikai’s work.

Truth to be told, however, she looks a bit more like Princess Diana than Marilyn Monroe.

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