If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Paralympic Games would have taken place last August 25. The games have been rescheduled to next year, and in its place, "Setsudan Venus," a virtual fashion show, was held in central Tokyo.
Setsudan Venus or Amputee Venus featured Paralympic athlete Kaede Maegawa, who finished fourth in the long jump category in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, and 11 other Japanese women who, despite losing a leg, are now moving forward with pride and confidence. They walked down the catwalk wearing the latest fashion and prosthetic legs.
According to the show's producer and prosthetist Fumio Usui, his goal was to make the models find pleasure in being fashionable while wearing prosthetic legs. Usui is a celebrated prosthetist in Japan. He is known for developing specialized prosthetic limbs for athletes.
Takao Ochi, the show's organizer, said that the purpose of the virtual, audience-less fashion show is to help overcome the fear surrounding the coronavirus. He stressed that overcoming fear is necessary because safety and security are the priority of next year's Paralympic Games.Ochi is a photographer who has been documenting adaptive sports since 2000. In 2014, he published a collection of photographs also titled "Setsudan Venus." The virtual fashion show was Ochi's idea. He will also be releasing a 2021 calendar featuring the models who walked the runway. All proceeds will be donated to the Tokyo Nursing Association.