Ida Chagall, Child Model

(Last Updated On November 26, 2021)

I found this photograph of Ida Chagall and her father in the book Art History of Photography by Volker Kahmen (1974). Kahmen identified the photo as Marc Chagall with his young daughter, circa 1925, photographed by P. Barchan. The source of the photo was Querschnitt (11, 1926). Querschnitt was a German art periodical, very prestigious in the 1920s.

Pawel Barchan – Marc Chagall With His Young Daughter (c1925)

The composition of this image intrigued me. Ida (the girl) appears to be relaxed and gazing calmly at the camera. Marc appears to be in a contrived pose, staring at something above the camera. Marc is well dressed, while Ida wears only ballet slippers. What was the photographer trying to convey to the viewer? Does the fact that the girl wears ballet slippers indicate that this photo may be part of a series, and there may be more photos with Ida dancing? I decided it would be worthwhile to try to find more photos by P. Barchan that might be of interest to Pigtails fans, and write an article about him. Unfortunately, I could find few more Barchan photos, and none that would be on topic for Pigtails. Therefore, this article will focus on the model instead of the photographer, but first a little information about Barchan will be offered.

Marc Chagall – Bathing a Baby (1916)

Pawel Barchan was the professional name used by Pavel Abramovich Barckhan (1876–1942). He was born in Poland when it was part of the Russian Empire. In 1908 he moved to Berlin, and was a well-known member of the artistic community there. Barchan was a man of many talents: a writer, art critic, journalist, translator and photographer. He assisted the Russian Ballet in Berlin in the early 1920s. Did he give Ida her ballet slippers? In about 1912 Barchan opened a photography studio. He made portraits of celebrities including painter Marc Chagall, and Chagall made paintings of Barchan. In 1942, while living in France, Pawel Barchan was arrested, sent to Auschwitz, and killed. His property, including photographs, was seized and presumably destroyed.

Anonymous – Marc Chagall With His Wife and Daughter (c1917)

Marc Chagall was born in Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire, in 1887. He became a painter and developed a unique style of vivid colors and semi-abstract imagery. Chagall is known primarily as the quintessential Jewish artist. One critic joked that everybody Chagall paints looks Jewish. He wrote in his autobiography that he wanted to document the disappearing traditions of Jewish life. Chagall’s art, however, transcends any one religion and celebrates humanity in general. Several of his religious paintings have Christian themes, and he designed the stained-glass windows for the Christian cathedrals at Reims and Metz.

Marc Chagall – Ida at the Window (1924)

Marc Chagall’s only child, his beloved daughter Ida, was born in 1916. Ida started modeling for her father as an infant, as shown in the painting Bathing a Baby. When Ida was about eight years old, she was painted in Ida at the Window. She was around nine or ten when photographed by Pawel Barchan. An anonymous photograph of Ida, about twelve, with her father was published in Literarisze Bleter  no. 41 October 12, 1928.

Anonymous – Marc Chagall with his Daughter Ida (1928)

In 1940 the Chagalls were living in France. In addition to being a Jew, Chagall had been officially designated as a “degenerate artist”, and he was not a native Frenchman. Ida encouraged her father to leave Europe soon. Marc Chagall and his wife were arrested in April 1941. In the following month, the American Vice-Consul in Marseilles was able to get them released and gave them forged visas so they could come to America. Before leaving Europe, Chagall packed his paintings and had them shipped to the USA. The paintings were impounded in Spain, and may have been destroyed had it not been for Ida, who had remained behind with her husband. She worked to get the paintings released, then she also fled to America.

Marc Chagall died in 1985 at age 97; Ida died in 1994 at age 78.

Maiden Voyages: December 2021

(Last Updated On December 2, 2021)

This month, we had two related items.

The Trouble with Bots: Regarding the complaint that resulted in our site being shut down for a while, the offending image is a big surprise. It is the color image labeled: Brasil Indias Kamaiuras del Alto Xingu (c1965). Apparently, real humans don’t do the browsing, but an algorithm that uses pattern recognition that does. Perhaps the mere presence of a naked adult and child in the same photo set off the red flags! Needless to say, this algorithm needs to be improved. Also, The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has submitted complaints to us for comment before passing off the lead to the authorities. It is clear that none of the staff have even looked at it.

The Business of Child Protection: Protecting children from undue exploitation and abuse had been a hot topic in the political arena the past couple of decades. Conceptually, this is a noble pursuit, but any philanthropic organization that becomes too important or powerful has a tendency for corruption. Prostasia Foundation has done a little digging into the Canadian Centre for Child Protection expressing concerns over its lack of transparency and checks and balances.

Glenna Goodacre’s Girls

(Last Updated On November 26, 2021)

Glenna Maxey Goodacre (born in 1939) is most famous for her design of the Sacagawea dollar coin and the Vietnam War Women’s Memorial. Goodacre was born in Texas and moved to New Mexico in 1983. Her sculpture is notable for its celebration of the American West, American Indians, and patriotism. Goodacre retired from sculpting in 2016 and died in 2020. She created many sculptures of children, especially girls. Thirteen of her works featuring girls are included in this post.

Glenna Goodacre – The Runner in Kettering Ohio (1997).jpg

The Runner is on public display in at least three places: Lincoln Park in Kettering, Ohio, Texas Tech University in Goodacre’s native city of Lubbock, Texas, and the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. The statue is life-size.

Glenna Goodacre – The Runner in Lubbock Texas (1997)

Goodacre’s most famous Indian sculpture is the Sacagawea dollar that went into circulation in the year 2000. Although it has two youthful portraits, Sacagawea was modeled by a college student, and the infant represents a boy. The dollar would not be on topic for Pigtails, but several other Goodacre Indian sculptures are. The two shown below are Little Sister and 3rd Generation. The title for 3rd Generation is enigmatic; I have not been able to discover what it means.

Glenna Goodacre – Little Sister (1978)

Glenna Goodacre – 3rd Generation (1995)

Pledge Allegiance is one of the artist’s most popular works. It is on public display in at least ten cities in the United States. Children depicted in the statue group include both girls and boys.

Glenna Goodacre – Pledge Allegiance in Milwaukee Wisconsin (1991)

Glenna Goodacre – Pledge Allegiance in Holland Michigan (1991)

Below are two more groupings that contain both girls and boys. The first is titled Facts of Life. For those Pigtails readers whose native language is not English, I should explain that in the USA, the phrase “facts of life” is a euphemism for information about sex. This assemblage has one boy with crossed arms and crossed legs. On each side of the boy is a girl in a more open posture. The children are discussing something, and the title implies they may be talking about their newly developing sexuality. Nevertheless, there is nothing overtly sexual about this work; the children appear to be innocent friends.

Glenna Goodacre – Facts of Life (1997)

It is interesting to consider how the Facts of Life would be viewed if the sexes were reversed. What if the child with the crossed limbs was a girl surrounded by two boys in a sculpture titled Facts of Life? It might appear that the boys were behaving aggressively toward the girl. Girls, however, are traditionally seen as nonaggressive, and Goodacre tends to use traditional sex roles in her art. This is especially apparent in what is to me Goodacre’s most powerful and moving work; the Vietnam War Women’s Memorial. The women are shown as heroic for healing wounds, rather than for inflicting them.

Glenna Goodacre – Tug Of War (1987)

Traditional sex attributes figure in the next work, Tug of War. Boys are considered to be physically stronger than girls. Therefore, to make the contest fair, there are three girls against two boys. Goodacre’s art is uplifting in its portrayal of the good in people. Her children always play fair.

Glenna Goodacre – Mother and Daughter (1998)

Children are good and parents are loving, as shown in the next statue group titled Mother and Daughter.

Glenna Goodacre – Sweet Sue (1985)

The next three sculptures are full length statues of girls, without adults or boys. Goodacre was very good at portraying all ages and sexes, but her girls are especially charming.

Glenna Goodacre – Ballerinas (date unknown)

Glenna Goodacre – Star (date unknown)

She sculpted facial portraits as well as full figures. The next two are portraits of girls I think are particularly expressive.

Glenna Goodacre – Amelia (date unknown)

Glenna Goodacre – Uhoh (date unknown)

Goodacre specialized in the clothed figure, but she also did a few nudes. In researching this article, all of the Goodacre nudes I found were female, and all but one were adult women. The one exception is April, which is shown below.

Glenna Goodacre – April in Kansas City Missouri (1973)

Glenna Goodacre – April (1973)

Random Images: Tattoos and Baby Food

(Last Updated On November 27, 2021)

Continuing on the theme of podcasts, another one from Decoder Ring: Tattoo Flash had an interesting coverage of the practice of tattooing. One story is about Gemma Angel who was examining an archive of tattoos taken from French prisoners around the beginning of the 20th century. One tattoo in particular seemed out-of-place and oddly familiar.

French police archival tattoo photo (1901)

The authorities of the time assumed it was of a girl who had some close connection to the prisoner like a beloved niece or neighbor child since it was positioned near the heart. That explanation did not make sense to Angel so she did some investigating. After nearly giving up, she suddenly came across this image while playing a documentary.

Ridge’s Food advertisement (1893)

It was an ad for baby food and had a peculiar composition seen in ads of children of the period. Being an advertisement, it would not have been hard to have a copy for the tattooist to work from. Why the man selected this image is now lost to history but I believe it at least demonstrates how compelling the pictures of girl children can be.

Ridge’s Food ad (full size)

Random Images: Ilona Granet

(Last Updated On November 25, 2021)

With ongoing new technology, there is always a learning curve in adopting it. In my case, I have been binging podcasts and catching up on over a decade of material that I have not had time to keep apprised of.

Ilona Granet is an example of an artist who isn’t really famous but should be. A set of unfortunate circumstances seems to have conspired against her. One of those circumstances is the advent of digital technology in the production of signs. Granet got her start by making signs which were always hand-made and contracted out individually by businesses and government agencies. In that vein, this artist—objecting to the prevalence of misogyny in public places in New York City—actually got permission to post signs about the city with various warnings for men to curb their libidos in public. They were made to resemble government signs but with a startlingly different content. One of her later productions was a series of signs depicting Little Red Riding Hood. This character is well-known as a representation of innocent girlhood and the menace of adult sexuality which is in line with Granet’s general theme but unusually idyllic for the artist. As expected, it is a kind of dream of a world where girls can frolic freely without harassment.

Ilona Granet – Wander and Giggle (date unknown)

Due to the kind of foliage depicted and the text underneath the English (Katakana), this sign may have been for a Japanese venue.

Decoder Ring (podcast featuring Ilona Granet)

The nude bathers of Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman

(Last Updated On October 24, 2021)
Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Girls playing near the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Girls playing near the river

The Dutch painter, watercolourist and draftsman Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman was born on August 25, 1897 in Bad Kreuznach, a town in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. His father was a mathematics teacher and also a draftsman and painter. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. Because of his birth in Germany, his name is sometimes spelled in the German way: von Dülmen Krumpelmann.

He followed a private drawing course at the Hendrik de Keyserschool (King Henry school) and continued his studies at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers (National Normal School for Drawing Teachers). In 1918 he became a member of Arti et Amicitiae society in Amsterdam, and regularly exhibited at member exhibitions. Through his contacts with artists August Allebé, George Breitner and Willem Witsen, he developed his own impressionistic style. After his marriage in 1921 he settled in the Drenthe province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. There he came into contact with painters from Groningen art circle De Ploeg, after which his painting style became looser and more colourful.

He was co-founder of the regional art societies De Drentse Schilders (Painters of Drenthe), then the Drents Schildersgenootschap (Painting Society of Drenthe). In 1958 he won the Cultural Prize of Drenthe. In 1984 the Drents Museum organized a retrospective of his work. He died in the town of Zeegse on June 21, 1987. Of his two sons, the youngest (Erasmus Herman) also became a painter.

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman painted and drew various subjects, landscapes, city and village views, figure scenes and portraits, which are characterized by a smooth, loose brushwork and a bright colour. He became widely known for scenes of naked children bathing in Drenthe’s brooks. I include here a few paintings of bathing girls (I showed my favourite above).

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Kinderen bij de Drentse (Children by the Drenthe river)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Kinderen bij de Drentse (Children by the Drenthe river)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Children bathing in the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Children bathing in the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Badende meisjes (Bathing girls)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Badende meisjes (Bathing girls)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Bathing girls

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Bathing girls

Biographical sources:
Dutch Wikipedia page.
Encyclopedie Drenthe Online.

I thank my contact “Foxy” for drawing my attention to this painter.

Maiden Voyages: November 2021

(Last Updated On November 1, 2021)

Contacting Us: We are still overcoming some technical rough patches from when this site was reinstated. Also, many readers have encountered a malfunctioning CAPTCHA when trying to contact us or leaving a comment. We apologize for the difficulties and we certainly want your feedback. We have changed contact forms and the new one seems to be working well. However, if you tried to reach us in the last couple of months, your message may have been lost. We urge you to try again. And if you don’t hear from us in 72 hours, try emailing us directly at:

Facebook Page: For those of you familiar with our Facebook page, you will have noticed some neglect of late. The page was established as a way to stay in contact whenever the site is shut down. We have regained control over the page and are cleaning out some of the garbage that has accumulated. One of our associates, Matthew, is running it and I would like suggestions from readers on how we might make use of the page to create some synergy with Pigtails.

Parsons-Balthus Revelation: During my first visit to see Graham Ovenden in 2016, I experienced an information overload. One artist of note was Jacynth Parsons who was not only a skilled illustrator of children, but was for most of her career a child herself. And as an extra twist, Graham noticed some close similarities between the poses of Parsons’ figures and those of Balthus. Nowhere in Balthus’ biographies is Parsons ever credited but compelling evidence now demonstrates that she must have been a key influence. Upon Balthus’ death, Graham asked an associate to check the man’s studio for any books by Parsons that might have been used as a reference. Not only was a copy of a book called Ann’s Book (1929) found there but upon closer inspection, flecks of paint were found on some of the pages! I had hoped to write some kind of exposé at some point but I am delighted to learn that Alastair M. Johnston, a long-time friend of Graham’s, beat me to it. The article, ‘Was Balthus in Ann’s Room?’, is expected to be published sometime this month in The Book Collector. Although the full text is only available to subscribers, the publisher is planning to write a special article promoting the piece. I will keep readers posted and Johnston has also written another article on children’s book illustrations in 1810 to be published in the Spring.

Random Images: Rodion Mihulya

(Last Updated On October 24, 2021)

This interesting artist came to my attention from a reader (thank you). Rodion Mihulya (b1991) was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia. He is the son of a professional artist with whom he shares a website. In 2006, he graduated from the Yekaterinburg Art School 2. From 2007 he has been involved in professional art exhibitions in galleries and museums in Yekaterinburg and has a permanent exhibition in the “White Gallery”.

Rodion Mihulya – Lina (2007)

Both father and son have painted young subjects but Mihulya’s work seem to be more photorealistic. Both artists like to make use of old architecture and ruins as an engaging backdrop.

Gottfried Lindauer’s Maori Girl and the Tohunga

(Last Updated On October 22, 2021)

When I was looking for artwork for the Polynesian post, I found relatively few examples of girl art from the largest Polynesian islands, New Zealand. It was only recently I became aware of the work of Gottfried Lindauer.

Gottfried Lindauer – Tohunga under Tapu (circa1900)

Lindauer was born in Plzeň (Pilsen), in what is now the Czech Republic. He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and became a successful professional artist. In 1874 he emigrated to New Zealand to avoid the military draft. Lindauer came to admire the Maori culture; he specialized in painting the Maori. His life-size portraits of Maori chiefs are perhaps his best known works.

Tohunga under Tapu illustrates an incident described in the book Māori Biographies: Sketches of Old New Zealand by James Cowan and Gottfried Lindauer (1901). A tohunga is a Maori medicine man. The Maori considered the remains of the dead to be “tapu”, that is sacred and forbidden. When the tohunga, in the course of his religious duties, came in contact with the remains, he also became tapu for a time. While under the tapu, he could not touch food with his hands.

The tohunga had to eat as shown in the painting. Māori Biographies states that, “A little girl, quite naked, so that her garments may not be infected with the dangerous tapu, has brought the old man his food, a plaited flax kono or basket full of potatoes, and is half-fearfully feeding him with the boiled taewa stuck on the end of a long fern-stalk.”

The painting is now exhibited in Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand.

Shizuka Minamoto of Doraemon

(Last Updated On October 22, 2021)

Shizuka Minamoto is the female lead for the Japanese Doraemon manga and anime. Doraemon is one of the best known cartoons in the world, and Shizuka is perhaps the most widely recognized girl in cartoons and comics today. Before we get into detail about Shizuka, let’s give a brief account of Doraemon.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1990)

Nobita Nobi is the protagonist of the stories. He is a lazy boy of about ten years of age who is constantly getting into trouble and being bullied. Gian, a nickname derived from the English word giant, is a boy of the same age, but much bigger, who bullies Nobita. Suneo is an arrogant rich boy. Gian and Suneo are sometimes Nobita’s friends, and other times his adversaries, depending on what is needed to make a funny story. Shizuka is Nobita’s love interest, and is always his friend.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1986)

Doraemon is a big robot cat sent from the future by Nobita’s descendent, Siwashi, to attempt to help Nobita succeed in life. One of the things Doraemon will do is to ensure that Nobita will marry Shizuka, not Gian’s bratty little sister Jaiko, when he grows up. Nobita questions if this will be a problem because Siwashi is descended from him and Jaiko; if he marries Shizuka, will Siwashi cease to exist? Siwashi assures Nobita there will be no problem; different routes can lead to the same future. The manga pages in this article were originally in Japanese, so they are to be read right to left.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1981)

In a typical Doraemon story, Nobita will have a problem. Doraemon will provide Nobita with a high technology gadget from the future that works like magic to help solve the problem. Nobita misuses the gadget and ends up worse off than he was at the start.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1985)

Of the five main characters; Doraemon, Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, and Suneo; Shizuka is the only female. She is also the only human character not primarily defined by a major fault. Nobita is a loafer, Gian a ruffian, and Suneo is pompous. Shizuka is hardworking, sweet, and always loyal to her friends. She can get angry at times, when necessary for the story; and she is obsessed with cleanliness. Her worst shortcoming, which is common to all Doraemon characters, is that she never realizes until it is too late that there could be a downside to playing around with supernatural future technology. Were it not for this shortcoming, there would be no Doraemon stories.

Fujiko Fujio – First Appearence of Shizuka Minamoto (1970)

The stories covered in this article are the mangas (non-animated comics) created by Fujiko Fujio from 1969 through 1996. Fujimoto Hiroshi and Motoo Abiko collaborated under the penname Fujiko Fujio to make Doraemon. Hiroshi died in 1996, and the canonical stories thus ended then. There were 1,345 stories published in 45 volumes from 1970 to 1996. In addition, 16 long stories (Daichōhen Doraemon) were written and drawn by Fujiko Fujio from 1980 through 1996. More stories and animated cartoons were written and drawn by others, but this article does not focus on those. The dates given in the captions to the illustrations are the dates of publication for the book in which the story appeared. Often, the story may have been written a year prior. Several stories written but not published during the lifetime of Fujimoto Hiroshi were published years later as Doraemon Plus. The Japanese Foreign Ministry designated Doraemon as Japan’s anime ambassador in 2008.

Fujiko Fujio – Bypass Spyglass in English (1974)

If you read reviews of Doraemon, you may get the idea that Shizuka appears nude in most of the stories. This is not true. Shizuka has no nude scene in the vast majority of the stories, but reviewers tend to dwell on those stories that do have nudity. I will also emphasize these stories, because in doing so I hope to provide some insight into the controversies about nudity in art. Most of the illustrations used in this article contain nudity, but only because I specifically chose them for that reason. They are not a random representative sample of Doraemon pages.

Fujiko Fujio – Over Exaggerating Overcoat (1977)

It is interesting to note the time periods in which nude scenes occur in the manga. Volumes 1 through 17 of the Doraemon books were published 1970 through 1979. Nudity is very rare in this period, and when there is a naked character, it is one of the boys more often than it is Shizuka. Shizuka’s first “nude scene” that I could find is in the Bypass Spyglass story of 1974. You may question if that is really a nude scene; even though Shizuka is in the bathtub, only her face is visible. Shizuka also has an imagined undressing scene in the Over Exaggerating Overcoat story of 1977. During 1970–1979 Nobita does not intentionally try to spy on Shizuka when she is naked. Her nude scenes are accidental.

Fujiko Fujio – Ten Minutes Delayed ESP (1983)

Two things are peculiar about the undressing scene in Over Exaggerating Overcoat. The first thing is Nobita’s reaction; he panics more at Shizuka’s undressing than he did earlier in the story at their encounter with a dinosaur, a giant snake, and a pirate. It is as if he is more disturbed by the idea of Shizuka without clothing than he is by the idea of Shizuka being eaten by a giant snake. The other peculiar thing is that Shizuka wears a slip under her clothing so she can be shown undressing without exposing any more of her body than if she were fully dressed. The boys in Doraemon on the other hand, were depicted fully nude occasionally in the 1970s. My opinion is that Fujiko Fujio were trying to follow what they thought were societal norms of decency. Later they learned that these norms were defined by a small minority. They were vocal enough to create the illusion that many people shared their views, but they were actually so few that Fujiko Fujio could not cater to them and sell a lot of comics to make the optimal amount of money.

Fujiko Fujio – Later Album (1984)

The next period begins with Volume 18 in December 1979 and continues through Volume 38 in 1986. Daichōhen Doraemon stories began in 1980, and by 1986, eight Daichōhen stories were published. During this period nudity was very much more common, and it was usually Shizuka who was nude. If it was not Shizuka, it was likely to be another female character, although the boys continued to have occasional nude scenes. Also during this time, Nobita intentionally sought opportunities to see Shizuka naked. Some nude scenes during 1979–1986 seem to be gratuitously added for fan service.

Fujiko Fujio – Ventriloquist Robot (1984)

In the 1983 story Ten Minutes Delayed ESP, Nobita has an uncontrollable ESP that allows him to see through Shizuka’s clothes when he was actually trying to see into Gian’s pocket. Compare this scene with the one from 1977’s Over Exaggerating Overcoat. in 1977 Shizuka is in underwear, but in 1983 she appears naked. Nobita is alarmed by Shizuka’s lack of clothing in both stories, because it adds humor to the situation. In stories published after December 1979, however, Nobita is more often pleased than alarmed by Shizuka’s nudity.

Fujiko Fujio – Water Cycle Medicine (1985)

An example of a story in which Nobita seems happy to spy on Shizuka is the 1984 story Later Album. Look at the faces of Nobita and Doraemon; they appear delighted to have an album of nude photos of Shizuka. Their dialogue tells a different story. Nobita can choose any person, date, and time; and the magic photo album will produce a photo of that person as he or she appears at the designated time. Nobita wants a clothed photo of Shizuka that he can use as a model for his art homework assignment of drawing his best friend. Whenever he designates a date and time for a photo of Shizuka, she happens to be taking a bath at the time. This is, at least superficially, a satire of Doraemon critics who claim that Shizuka is usually in her bath, even though actually she is rarely shown in her bath. The bath scenes are not common, but they are remembered, by both fans and critics, more than other scenes.

Fujiko Fujio – Blind Spot Star (1989)

Can we view Later Album on another level as satirizing Nobita for using a contrivance to obtain nude photos, when he could have found some clothed photos for his assignment if he had tried? Is Nobita only pretending to be frustrated because he can find only nude photos? I think the author intended for us to see that in the story. Unfortunately, I am not an expert in the subtleties of Japanese humor, so I can only offer this as a suggestion.

Fujiko Fujio – Indoor World Travel Set (2005)

Another 1984 story, Ventriloquist Robot, is interesting in that a robot, speaking through Nobita, tells Shizuka that nudity is artistic and innocent and she should not be annoyed when Nobita sees her naked. The robot has the power to make people believe anything it says. A page from the 1985 story Water Cycle Medicine is illustrated here to show how the scene was later changed for anime versions.

Fujiko Fujio – The Kingdom of Clouds (1991)

No Doraemon book was published in 1987, and from 1988 through 1996 there is significantly less nudity than 1979–1986. In the story Blind Spot Star (1989), Nobita uncharacteristically refuses to spy on Shizuka in the bath when he has an opportunity to do so. In the end, he gets blamed for peeping even though he did not. Nobita spies on Shizuka in the posthumously published story Indoor World Travel Set, but we don’t know when this story was written. The decline in the number of nude scenes is less evident in the long stories. Note two things about Shizuka’s shower in the long story The Kingdom of Clouds (1991). First, the shower is pure fan service; it does nothing to advance the plot or to add humor. Second, note that Shizuka’s body is drawn more curvaceous in the shower than when she is clothed.

Omasomas – Doraemon Fan Art (c2015)

Why did the frequency of Shizuka’s nudity fluctuate, increasing to the mid 1980s then decreasing? I can only offer an hypothesis. Perhaps there was very little nudity of Shizuka in Doraemon during the first years of publication simply because the author did not think of too many plots that would involve nudity. Like any successful author of a multi-year series, Fujiko Fujio listened to their fans. People who bought and read Doraemon wanted more nude scenes for Shizuka, so that was what they got. This made Doraemon even more popular, but eventually it became too popular. Doraemon was so well-known that it was known even to busy bodies who did not buy or read the manga, but who fancied themselves to be guardians of public morals with the right to decide what others should be able to buy or read. Pressure was put on Doraemon to decrease the nudity, and so it happened.

Fujiko Fujio – Little Star Wars (1985)

Doraemon has inspired a lot of fan art. Sometimes it is obvious from the art style that it is not an original Doraemon illustration. An example of this is the picture by Omasomas of Nobita and Doraemon with Shizuka in her bathroom. Sometimes it is not obvious, as in the original (but translated into English) and fan art versions of a picture from Little Star Wars. This is interesting because earlier in the genuine adventure, a shrunken Shizuka tries on her doll’s clothing, then takes a bath in the dollhouse, then hurriedly grabs some clothing (her own) as she gets out of the tub. Later in the story, when she returns to normal size, her clothing also returns to normal. In the fan art version, Shizuka grabs a set of doll clothing as she leaves her bath. Then when she returns to normal size, she bursts out of the doll clothes which were already normal size. I get the idea that Fujiko Fujio originally intended for Shizuka to burst out of her clothes, but changed his mind. If that were not his intention, there would be no reason for Shizuka to try on doll clothes earlier in the story.

Anonymous – Little Star Wars Fan Art Version (no date)

In the fan art version of a picture from Little Star Wars Shizuka says, “The effect of the small light [shrinking ray] has expired!” Perhaps the fan artist changed her dialogue when he edited the picture to remove Shizuka’s clothes. Perhaps the translator of the English version of the authentic story changed Shizuka’s speech.

ArcRoyale – Water Cycle Medicine Censored and Reconstructed Anime (2017)

Anime is harder to study than manga, because there can be several different anime versions of the same story. We may not know who made or edited a particular version, when it was done, in what country it was done, and whether it was done by a professional studio or an amateur. Compare the page from the Water Cycle Medicine manga story with the last two illustrations. One shows two versions of the scene from the 2005 anime television series. The bottom picture is the artist’s reconstruction of the original anime, which apparently no longer exists. In 2006 the studio succumbed to the critics and added steam to censor the cartoon. The top picture is the censored 2006 version. The next illustration is the 2019 version of the anime with only Shizuka’s head and shoulders visible.

Anonymous – Water Cycle Medicine Anime (2019)

One might think that after 2019, the proponents of censorship would be celebrating their victory over Doraemon. Instead, a petition was started in December 2020 to demand that bath scenes from older anime stop being shown on television, and that a warning notice be attached to animes informing the viewer that peeping in bathrooms is illegal.