This strange tradition sees a a founding professor’s statue vandalized every year, and now we get Iron Blooded Orphans action!

Kyoto University isn’t just a place to hold grand cosplay graduation parties. It’s the second-oldest university in Japan (the oldest is Keio) and naturally an esteemed academic institution.

When you trace Kyoto University back to its beginnings, you’ll find a chemistry school in Osaka – the Seimi-kyoka, opened in 1869. That school was relocated to Kyoto in 1889 and was renamed to the Third Higher School in 1894. Professor Hikoichi Orita served as the Third Higher School’s president, and was a huge factor in integrating the school into what would become Kyoto University.

And Kyoto University alumni all got together in 1940 and commissioned a nice statue of Professor Orita! The statue was promptly replaced with a plaster bust one year later. Then after the war was over, a new bronze statue was installed to welcome students to the campus.

But alas, the bronze statue was vandalized so much and so often that eventually it was moved into a memorial hall for safe-keeping. But this wasn’t just any vandalism – Kyoto University students would paint over his face, add props, and even edit the words of wisdom he had to prospective students until they sounded more like anime catchphrases.

And Orita-sensei certainly has taken up the guise of multiple anime characters in his time. Just two years ago he was made to resemble pink orb Kirby, and this year he’s taken the form of Tekkadan leader Orga Itsuka from Mobile Suite Gundam: Iron Blooded Oprhans.

“It’s on a mobile stand so Orga is moving to numerous places around campus.”

The Twitter user who first documented Orga on campus was going to see this year’s famous Orita-sensei, made in the papier mache likeness of Keizo Obuchi announcing the start of the Heisei era in 1989.

But the bonus installation of Orga had already attracted some attention. He’d been gifted with a daffodil (though it was probably intended to resemble a freesia, a reference to the series’ ending theme), assorted biscuits and crackers and even a bento of tuna and rice – a tekkadon, which harkens to the “Tekkadan”, Orga’s faction.

Why all the cookies? Well…

The original Orita-sensei statue came with a description of his history and guidance for future students, and of course Orga does too.

“Orga Itsuka was a man who, as team leader, was instrumental in establishing the Tekkadan. He never rested for a moment when it came to creating new futures for Tekkadan members. So all of you, too – don’t you ever stop!”

▼ A man of his word, Orga continues to move around campus without stopping

This is by no means the weirdest statue we’ve seen serving as a replacement for Professor Orita’s bust. Over the years we’ve seen Resetti from Animal Crossing

Comedian Koume Dayu’s geisha character

And even Kyoro-chan from the popular snack Chocoball.

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キョロちゃん

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Who knows what form Professor Orita will evolve into next year? As the first official Orita statue of the new era, we’re hoping for something pretty impressive. Maybe a massive Pokémon?

Source: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/Jun_nvguv