Santa Cross is Coming to Town.
Many moons ago when I lived in Tokyo, a co-worker told me that he had seen a picture of Santa hanging prostrate on the cross as part of a Department store window-dressing to celebrate Christmas. I took him at his word and being a neophyte in this wild and wacky land, began to regale my friends with this same story. Now maybe he was just having me on, or he had sincerely heard this myth himself. But so begins yet another Urban Legend. With but a few Googling clicks, here are a few of the documented cases over the years recounting this same tale:
1. A few Decembers ago a Japanese department store, desperate to appear Westernised, mounted an extravagant Christmas display, featuring a life-sized Santa Claus, crucified upon a cross.
2. The granddaddy of cultural faux pas occurred just after World War II, when a Ginza department store rolled out its elaborate Christmas promotion: a smiling Santa nailed to a crucifix.
3. A Japanese department store reputedly once put up a big Christmas cartoon which had a Santa Claus prominently displayed on a crucifix. Whether or not this story, which has been doing the rounds in Tokyo for some years, is true or just another urban legend, is unclear.
Well, as far as I can tell, it's all a load of hooey but I can share with you photos of another Santa, who may not share Jesus' fate, but does share his birthdate.
Presenting Santa Jones or Michael Claus, take your pick...