There are times our daily lives when we lose track of where we are. Despite the outbreak of war, the occurrence of disasters, various absurdities, violence and hardships, at first glance life seems peaceful. Amid various ongoing and intertwined multi-layered problems and situations without resolution, we are in some way complicit, and live with great contradictions. How is the life you lead structured? In our lives, how can we build a relationship with this reality? As we walk through different terrain, we think about this era without answers together.
Two kanji characters apply to the Japanese word “awai.” One means between things, a border, a reciprocal relationship, and in ancient Japanese, intermediary. The other expresses vagueness or faintness of shapes and light. In this project, the “awai” of the walking we are going to do refers to places/aspects where the meanings of these two kanji characters intermingle. The state of “awai” continues to change depending on your reciprocal relationship with the things you come across; landscapes, people, words, times, distances, and various other things. By exploring the different aspects of “awai,” the way we approach – physically and otherwise – the things we encounter will change little by little.
In the midst of an ambiguous and seemingly unsolvable situation, thinking about “awai” or how to proceed through “awai” is a very important practice for thinking about our course in life going forward.
In particular, in looking to the future, when we look back at the history that has shaped the lives of those of us who live in Tama/Tokyo today, we cannot grasp a true picture just by asking things about Tokyo when we are in in Tokyo. Historically, Tokyo has gotten resources and energy supplies from various regions and places around Tokyo, and has been formed through the wisdom and efforts of the people there. While learning about the circumstances that have made Tokyo what it is – the landscapes, people, the things that have been created, the things that have been damaged, the framework of compound disasters (*) in the regions that produced them – we will look again at Tokyo from this angle, in order to reconsider our lives in future.
The Japanese word “kangaeru” (to think) derives from “kamikafu,” which incorporates the concept and the kanji characters for “body” and “interaction.”
“Kamikafu” includes the meaning of thinking through the intermediary that connects us to the outside world – the body – rather than understanding things with the “heart” and “mind” alone. Relying on what they feel with the body, participants will walk through different local areas, experiencing connection with the land as they think about things in the “kamikafu” sense of the word, and arriving at their own questions.
Rather than simply grasping the various hard-to-solve situations of today in black and white terms, walking with an “awai” mindset will allow us to think with an acceptance of the “awai” nature of things.
Moreover, art has the power to renew the way we see things.
Our focus this year is the concept of “walking with an “awai” mindset.” Through participation in assignments/lectures and fieldwork in tandem with artists and various people living in local areas, through the creation of field notes based on those experiences, and through thinking about and experiencing means of encountering the world with a new perspective, each participant will develop their questions in more depth, which will feed back into their various practices in Tokyo/the Tama region.
The term “compound disaster” as used here refers to events that have occurred together due primarily to different events, accidents, and disasters (including changes to the natural environment and socioeconomic conditions) which have continued from the past into the present.
The state of “awai” continues to change depending on your reciprocal relationship with the elements you come across: landscapes, people, words, times, distances, and various other things. Through assignments and lectures, together we consider approaches to these, attitudes for asking questions, how you can tune in with your ears, mind and body, and how to experience these elements. In the assignments, using applied theater techniques we will think about the body for the purpose of confronting events by using the whole body rather than “reason” or “knowledge.” For the lectures, we invite guests whose activities shine a light on the culture originating in their resident locales and lives, and provide a forum for discussion by asking them about the land itself, the people who live there, and how to encounter and tackle the unique things that have developed there. Participants can put this to use in their own methods of walking with an “awai” mindset.
Schedule (guests in parentheses)
・Sunday, September 18,2022 13:00 – 16:00 “Preparing the body for encounters” (Setsu Hanasaki)
・Saturday, November 5, 2022 13:00 – 16:00 “Going forward to meet the unknown” (Masaki Nakano)
・Friday, December 16, 2022 19:00 – 21:00 “Manners for encounters” (Eiko Soga)
・Sunday, February 26, 2023 13:00 – 16:00 “Accepting experiences to date” (Setsu Hanasaki)
Koganei Art Spot Chateau 2F, Koganei City kankyo gakushukan
Relying on your own body, mind and the power of the land as you walk can enhance self-awareness and sense of the issues that pertain to oneself.
Borrowing the methods and perspectives of artists and local guests, as they move around participants will experience in a topographical sense the learning and the consideration of the interconnection between the Tokyo metropolitan area and other regions determined since ancient times by resources and energy, the origin of each region, the compound disasters produced by a combination of various factors, and the framework of these disasters. This experience will provide an opportunity for participants to think about how we have dealt with changes in nature and socioeconomics. Moreover, what this experience was like will be shared with everyone, and feed back into participants’ own activities in Tama.
Schedule (guests in parentheses)
・Saturday, October 8, 2022 – Sunday, October 9, 2022 Walking in the field 1: ““Awai” from Tokyo to Iitate” (Hikari Fujishiro ＋ Eiko Sugano)
・Saturday, February 4 – Sunday February 5, 2023 Walking in the field 2: “Thinking (kamikafu) about Tokyo to Okuma” (Norio Kimura ＋ Setsu Hanasaki)
*If you are unable to take part in fieldwork on-site, you can live view participation in interviews and access video recordings of interviews, but in order to really experience the language of each area, the most important thing is to be there. We strongly recommend you do your utmost to attend onsite.
*Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses as incurred in fieldwork participation. Consultation is available on how to participate in the fieldwork program.
Along with assignments, lectures and experiences in the field, participants will produce field notes. Field notes in this case does not necessarily mean a field book in the usual sense. Participants will create field notes by exploring their own procedures suitable for developing and connecting self-reflection and questioning. This will act as a stepping-stone to connect fieldwork, assignments/lectures with participants’questions; and through this experience, participants will be the ones in charge of the repeated process of questioning and being questioned.
In addition, in order to develop a sense of their own issues based on the back and forth of questions, participants will be able to join in creation by artist Masaru Iwai. While referring to Iwai’s practice of translating personal experience into a public production process, participants will consider how to open and share their own experiences.
Schedule of creation with Masaru Iwai
・Sunday, October 23, 2022 “Regarding empirical road projection”
・Sunday, November 20, 2022 “Empirical road projection #1”
・Saturday, December 24, 2022 “Empirical road projection #2”
・Sunday, January 8– Monday, January 9, 2023 “Empirical road projection #3”
*Schedule subject to change after coordinating with participants
*Activities are scheduled to be held at points around the area between Tama and Tokyo.
Details of location and time will be coordinated with participants, who will meet at an agreed rendezvous and go home from an agreed location. Consultation is available on how to participate and any other matter.
-Please see here for the whole schedule (PDF)
-After workshops have finished, we will attempt to share insights gained through this project in Tokyo, Tama, and the surrounding areas.
15 (age and gender irrelevant)
*Participants are responsible for travel and accommodation expenses incurred through participation in fieldwork etc. Consultation is available on how to participate and any other matter.
*Schedule and times subject to change.
Please apply via email, FAX, or Google Forms.
If applying by email or FAX, please include your address, age, name, date of birth, telephone number, and reason for applying.
Monday, September 12, 2022
Should the number of applications exceed capacity, we will select participants based on application documents. We will contact you on Tuesday, September 13 regarding whether or not you can participate.
*If you have any questions or want to discuss the schedule, how to participate, etc., please contact the office.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
Setsu Hanasaki (Theater Practitioner, Noguchi Taiso Instructor)
Norio Kimura (Team YUSHO Project Representative/Okuma Mirai Juku head)
Koganei Art Spot Chateau 2F, Chateau Koganei 6-5-3 Honmachi, Koganei City, Tokyo 〒184-0004
September 2022 – March 2023 *Once or twice a month
Koganei Art Spot Chateau 2F,(Chateau Koganei 6-5-3 Honmachi, Koganei City, Tokyo),Koganei City kankyo gakushukan,(3-2-16 Nukuiminamicho, Koganei City, Tokyo), and others