Join Akira Toriyama as he continues his adventures in Bali with big-breasted girls, in Part 2 of my Akira Toriyama Bali Tour Exposé.
We’ll continue where we left off in Bird Land Press 19, the exclusive and ultra-rare Japanese magazine dedicated to Akira Toriyama’s life and work.
Here we’ll see Toriyama give us a slice-of-life peek into how he likes to relax while on vacation.
Bali Island Tour
Read Part 1 of Toriyama’s Bali Tour to get up to speed.
In Part 2, Toriyama gives us 6 more pictures from his vacation in Bali in June of 1985.
They are published on Page 3 of Bird Land Press 19, in July of 1985.
I scanned and translated everything in this article.
The following text in quotes is written by Akira Toriyama.
The explanatory text and cultural knowledge that follows is written by me.
Toriyama’s Caption: “Twilight at Kuta Beach. To be clear, this is amazing!! The sand is amazing!
Toriyama’s Description: “Gals from Australia are walking around with their big breasts!! I’m happy!!!”
Here we see Toriyama strike a pose to show how happy he is about the big-breasted Australian gals.
Kuta Beach is a beach resort on the southern tip of Bali.
Kuta Beach is the most popular beach in Bali. It has been a famous tourist destination since the 1970s when it was transformed from a fishing village into a beach hotspot. It’s nicknamed the Sunset Beach.
According to Toriyama, Australian gals were walking around with their big breasts.
This is corroborated by Wikipedia, which states “Kuta is well known in Bali for being a cheap tourist destination for Australians due to its close proximity.”
Here’s an image for research purposes:
Also noteworthy is that Toriyama is wearing a Pennzoil trucker hat.
I noticed that when you zoom in, you can see the Pennzoil logo on the front.
Toriyama is an auto-enthusiast and son of an auto mechanic. He loves cars, motorcycles, and engines of every kind.
Pennzoil is an American company that produces gasoline and lubrication oils that are used in engines.
Pennzoil’s logo consists of the block typeface of “PENNZOIL” placed across the Liberty Bell, a patriotic symbol of America’s liberty being ‘cracked away’ from the British.
Toriyama draws Muten Rōshi wearing the same Pennzoil hat that he wore in real life on the cover of Dragon Ball Chapter 33. This cover art depicts the landscape of the Tenkaichi Budōkai, and it is inspired by the Balinese environment that Toriyama visited on his tour in 1985.
Toriyama also drew Rōshi wearing a Pennzoil shirt in Dragon Ball Chapter 24 when Gokū first visits him at the Kame House.
Dragon Ball Chapter 24 premiered on May 14, 1985, one month before Toriyama’s trip to Bali. This suggests that Toriyama owned the Pennzoil clothing before he took his trip.
With this image of Toriyama on the beach wearing a Pennzoil hat, I am able to show you a direct link between what Akira Toriyama wore in real life and what Rōshi wore in Dragon Ball.
This link strengthens the argument I make in Dragon Ball Culture Volume 3 that Rōshi is a proxy for Toriyama.
Akira Toriyama’s funny pose resembles the pose he puts many of his characters in when they’re running.
Could this be Toriyama’s running pose?
Toriyama: “A bird who cracks lobsters. That’s Wayan on the left. By the way, Balinese food is pretty tasty.”
Akira Toriyama is eating lobster at a seafood restaurant with his Balinese tour guide Wayan Budhiyasa and his manga assistant Takashi Matsuyama.
He refers to himself as a bird as a play on words of his family name: Tori (鳥, “bird”).
There are 5 plates visible in the image, with what appear to be bowls of butter and sauce. We will meet the fifth member of Toriyama’s tour group in Part 3 of this series.
Toriyama doesn’t say which restaurant he’s eating at, but there are many seafood restaurants near Kuta Beach, and across Bali in general.
This image is an example of how Akira Toriyama formed a friendship with Wayan Budhiyasa that would last beyond his vacation.
Toriyama: “In Bali, there are villages full of people who paint. They’re pretty good at it.”
Here we see a picture of Akira Toriyama sitting in front of a painting shop.
Behind him is a wall full of paintings.
To his left are the painters, sitting on the floor as they work on their canvases and easels. Their shoes sit in front of the step at the entrance of the shop.
Balinese art is an essential elements of the island’s culture.
Bali is considered the art center of Indonesia, a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts, and a haven for international painters and wood carvers.
Its traditional art consists of a combination of Indian, Javanese, and Chinese artistic influences now known as Hindu-Javanese. Most of it depicted epic stories such as the Hindu Ramayana.
In the 19th century this was combined with modern Western artistic methods, leading to more depictions of self-expression and real-life scenes.
According to Wikipedia’s Balinese Art page, “Ubud and its neighboring villages established a reputation as the center of Balinese art. Ubud and Batuan are known for their paintings.” Likewise, the town of Sanur.
Toriyama’s tour guide, Budhiyasa, was born in Ubud, and says on his official tour guide description that he feels Ubud is the best part of the island.
However, like the restaurant, we don’t have enough information from this caption to know exactly where the picture was taken.
Even so, given that Akira Toriyama is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, he must have enjoyed seeing so many Balinese paintings.
Toriyama: “Inside the hotel in front of the statue of Garuda; the god of the island.”
Here’s a picture of Toriyama squatting in front of a Garuda statue.
Toriyama holds a cigarette in his right hand. He was a chain-smoker throughout most of his career.
Garuda is a legendary bird-like creature that plays an important symbolic role in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain faiths.
Garuda is the national symbol of Indonesia. As a result, Garuda statues are a common sight in Bali, due to Balinese Hinduism being the primary religion of the country. Garuda appears in every nook and corner.
There is a Garuda statue at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali that greets every guest. This statue looks a lot like the one Toriyama is pictured with.
In fact, the second-tallest statue in the world is a giant statue of the Hindu Lord Vishnu riding Garuda, and it’s located in Bali at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. It’s even taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
The Balinese really like their Garuda statues.
Toriyama does not say which hotel he stayed at during his Bali tour, but I spent several hours attempting to find the same statue online in various hotels.
I first checked the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel website to see if they had a Garuda statue. This is the 5-Star resort hotel that Toriyama visited with his group in Part 1 of his tour. But there was no Garuda statue on their site.
This suggests that Toriyama was saying this particular Garuda statue he is squatting in front of is the one located at the hotel he stayed at.
Unfortunately, even after hours of searching, I could not find it.
So if you know which Balinese hotel has this Garuda statue in it, please tell me.
It’s likely in the southern tip of Bali, given that this is where most tourists go, and where Toriyama spent most of his time.
Toriyama: “Here’s Tori-sa doing a Thai dance in front of a statue of a god similar to o-Jizō-san in Japan.”
Toriyama performs a traditional Indonesian dance in front of a traditional Balinese statue of a god.
He appears to be barefoot or wearing sandals, in contrast to his sneakers seen elsewhere.
Toriyama refers to himself here as Tori-sa (トリさ). This is commonplace throughout Bird Land Press when Toriyama talks about himself or is referred to by others.
Through repeat readings and research I’ve determined that sa is a shorthand in the Nagoya dialect for the honorific of san (“Mr.”). Toriyama is a Nagoya native, and he uses this shorthand.
In fact, throughout Dragon Ball you can hear Chichi refer to Gokū as Gokū-sa.
I suspect this is because Akira Toriyama and his wife both refer to Toriyama as Tori-sa.
Next, Toriyama refers to his dance pose as a Thai dance, but I’m pretty sure it’s the local Balinese dancing.
Balinese dance accompanies Balinese paintings as one of their traditional cultural art forms.
Balinese dancing is one of the top draws for tourists around the world who visit Bali. There are traditional Balinese dances held every day at Hindu temples, weddings, and festivals.
O-Jizō-san is a venerated Buddhist deity in Japan. He is considered the patron saint of children, and his statues are commonplace throughout the Japanese islands.
O-Jizō-san was originally known as Kṣitigarbha in Sanskrit. As a Bodhisattva, he took an oath to delay enlightenment in order to save more sentient beings on Earth.
I could not determine who the Balinese equivalent of o-Jizō-san is, so I don’t know who this is a statue of, but he may be the Balinese depiction of Kṣitigarbha. Or maybe Toriyama just meant that he’s a common local deity.
Either way, it’s a great example of how Indian Buddhism influenced the Indonesian islands over centuries, and how years later a Japanese tourist identifies an Indian Buddhist deity as the equivalent of his own.
And it’s fun to see Toriyama dancing.
Toriyama: “While I had my auntie massage on the beach, people bustled about to buy this and that.”
Toriyama lies face down on a beach mat while a team of 5 give him a full body massage.
He refers to them as “aunties,” suggesting they are old ladies, but there also appears to be at least one man in the group, and two boys playing around.
Massages are a signature element of Balinese relaxation, and a typical part of a tourist package.
They’re also cheap. Even today you can get a 1-hour full-body massage for $6 USD. Back in 1985 they might have cost $1?
It’s hard to know the beach Toriyama received this massage on, but given the described “bustle,” it’s likely Kuta Beach, renowned for its shopping and services district right next to the sand.
2 Down, 1 to Go
Dining, dancing, and relaxing. A slice-of-life episode like those in Dragon Ball.
How do you feel about seeing this side of Toriyama?
That’s 2 pages of Akira Toriyama’s Bali Tour down, with 1 more page to go that features 6 more pictures!