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An Artistic Portrayal of Polydactyly as Sacrilege: The Case of Todd Rundgren’s Album Nearly Human

Anand N. Bosmia, Christoph J. Griessenauer, R. Shane Tubbs


In 1989, the American musician Todd Rundgren released an album titled Nearly Human. The album cover features the imprint of a human hand with six fingers. Interestingly, the cover on copies of the album released in Japan feature a hand with five fingers. Per a website dedicated to Rundgren’s career and work, the album cover was altered because a six-fingered hand has religious significance in Japan. The authors postulate that aspects of Japanese Buddhism fostered the public sentiment that resulted in the altered album cover for copies of Nearly Human released in Japan.

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