Kappa Suit Crawl

Jimmy Kuehnle rolls down the street in a Kappa suit in Tokyo, Japan.

In Japan, foreigners or gaijin are outsiders viewed as a novelty and kept at a safe distance. By exaggerating this perception with costumes and performances, I created situations for interaction that exceeded the ritual "hello." To call attention to Japan's cultural insularity and over unrestrained consumerism, I crawled and rolled around the rich Ginza strip in Tokyo in a green Spandex suit reminiscent of the Japanese mythical creature called Kappa. I entered elite stores where merchants stood perplexed, as I rolled myself across the floor towards affluent shoppers.

In order to explore the Japanese concept of soto (outside) and uchi (inside), I once I walked around Osaka with a national celebrity in search of people who hated my work. (see Tante Knight Scoop) Japanese express themselves differently to their "in-group" than the rest of society. Directness of speech is not allowed and is replaced with superficial politeness. My performance allowed Japanese women to directly voice their opinion to a stranger.