A Pumpkin by the Sea

Want to see more? Visit the 南瓜 (黄色いかぼちゃ) and Benesse House location pages.

On the tiny island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea of southern Japan, artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin” (1994-2005) sits patiently at the water’s edge. Instagrammers flock to the sleepy island to see a world-class art collection that was made possible in large part due to the philanthropy of Benesse Corporation, a Japanese company that specializes in test prep and language schools. Kusama’s “Pumpkin” is perhaps the most photogenic artwork on the island, beckoning visitors to come closer and pose with the giant spotted squash that Kusama says represents her alter-ego.