I love this story.
The University of Tokyo is generally ranked as Japan's most prestigious university. And Kyoto University is the second oldest university of Japan and one of the leading national universities having a total of roughly 22,000 students.
There was a statue in front of the building of the Faculty integrated human studies dept of Kyoto University. He was Mr Hikoichi Orita who was a principal of Daisan High school which was the "predecessor of Kyoto Univ."
It started around 1991. When the gulf war began, someone painted Mr. Orita red and posted a bill saying "angry person". After that when something happen in the world, when the university has an event like the entrance ceremony, Mr. Orita was painted, was given some clothes with some words. Sometimes he was a Kabuki actor, sometimes he was Lenin with a helmet, a pretty bride. In entrance ceremony season, he invited new members to join a bicycle club. Of course the college tried to stop it and set a sign saying "Do not mess up the statue. Mr. Orita is the great person who contributed to Kyoto University." But soon Mr. Orita was dressed like a farmer with the message "don't mess up this statue". Not only clothes, he was changed into Moai, Ultraman Zeus, another statue.
Around 1997, a statue of Mr. Orita left the campus. College staff would be tired to wash and clean him? maybe. But the prime reason would be damage to the statue. If the college staff were angry and tired very much, they would take a measures to protect the statue. But they just washed and posted signs "we are annoyed, please don't do this". Everybody thought the college accepted students stupid, funny activity as a free spirit which exactly Orita hoped? Or a kind of antithesis for iconolatry?
But after the statue was removed, when something happened in this world, students set up fake statues. One day it was manga character (Actually this is Rikiishi), one day it was Nausica with the Ohmu. When the Iraqi war began, it was Golgo 13 (who is golgo?). Here is a history of the statue of Mr. Orita. (Thank you very much for Orita sensei wo tataerukai.) They saw a new statue this year. Not only graduates, many people (including me) hope they continue this. Actually in Japanese wikipedia, there is a post about Mr. Orita's statue.