Graffiti on 100 Bamboo Stalks in Saga, KyotoOn Popular Tourist Trail
On May 17 it was reported that approximately 100 bamboo stalks had graffiti scratched on their surfaces on the "Bamboo Forest Trail," a popular tourist site in the Saga Area of Ukyo Ward, Kyoto. There were scribbles in the English alphabet, Chinese characters and the Korean alphabet, so it appears that foreign tourists visiting Japan are also involved. The city government and the trail management provider have called upon visitors to not write graffiti.
The bamboo forest site is located in a scenic area, where construction and cutting trees are restricted to preserve the natural landscape. It is near the tourist mecca, "Bamboo Forest Street." Pursuant to the Ancient Capitals Preservation Law, the city government purchased it from private owners between 2003 and 2005, and has opened it to the public only during the day since 2015.
Much of the bamboo with graffiti is along the walking trails. Names, initials, dates, heart-shaped marks and others are carved into the bamboo. According to "EBISUYA," the company entrusted with the trails' management by the city government at no charge, the graffiti became conspicuous earlier this year, and has been rapidly increasing since around April. Reportedly, the company saw some tourists scratching bamboo with their keys or ballpoint pens. Although notices state that graffiti are prohibited, not only in Japanese, but also in English and Chinese, the damage continuously occurs. The company hides it by abrading the surface or applying tape over the scratches.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)