Genpei Akasegawa is a pseudonymof Japanese artist Katsuhiko Akasegawa (born 1937). During the 1950s and 1960s, he became involved within the Neo-Dada movement, when he formed the Hi-Red Center collective. In 1970s he worked with the idea of Hyper-Art, ordinary street object that happened to look like a conceptual artwork. For what was to become the “Thousand-yen bill incident”, Akasegawa sent out invitations to a solo exhibition in 1963, in a cash envelope mailed through the post. The printed invitation reproduced a 1,000-yen note with the exhibition details at the back, when the local police notice, they arrested him for producing counterfeits.
Going Nowhere (see more images here)
His irreverent humor and cunning observation of everyday life made him popular as a writer, peaking with his 1998 book Rõjinryoku, in which he put forth a hilariously positive take on the declining capabilities of the elderly. Hyperart: Thomasson, marks a crucial turning point in his metamorphosis from a subversive culture to a popular culturatus.
Caterpillar is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Kōji Wakamatsu, partially drawn from Edogawa Rampo’s banned short-story “The Caterpillar” (芋虫 Imomushi?)
The film is a critique of the right-wing militarist nationalism that guided Japan’s conduct in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. The film deals with various issues, such as war crimes, handicapped veterans, and spousal abuse. The film also deals with themes of sexual perversion and features graphic sex scenes.
It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa’s wife.
(1 April 1936 – 17 October 2012)
Toru Takemitsu (武満 徹 Takemitsu Tōru, October 8, 1930 – February 20, 1996) photo by Kinoshita Akira
Composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Takemitsu’s contribution to film music was considerable; in under 40 years he composed music for over 100 films. via wiki
Follow his works.. you’ll get the best of post war Japanese cinema.
See Woman in the Dunes full film (Abe Kobo, Teshigahara, Toru Takemitsu)
Hiroshi Teshigahara Two films based on novels by Abe Kobo, The Face of Another, Woman in the Dunes, Rikyu about the zen/artist/tea master. and Pitfall –
Click to see large – Rikyu
Harakiri – trailer (youtube) (With Masaki Kobayashi – Takemitsu also did the film scores for Kwaidan and Samurai Rebellion)
Takemitsu also composed for Black Rain (Imamura Shohei), Ran, Dodeskaden (Akira Kurosawa), Empire of Passion (Nagisa Oshima) and Rising Sun (Philip Kaufman).
Toru T and Iannis Xenakis click to see large
Iannis Xenakis (previous post)
Japanese Actress Shirley Yamaguchi, Who Starred in ‘House of Bamboo,’ Dies at 94 (Variety)
Shirley and Charlie
After her first marriage to Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi ended in the mid-1950s, Yamaguchi married Hiroshi Ohtaka, who was Japan’s ambassador to Burma, now Myanmar, and occasionally appeared on television. In 1974, she was elected to parliament’s Upper House as a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party and served until 1992. She was among the contributors to a private atonement fund for Asian “comfort women” used as prostitutes for Japan’s wartime military.
Shanghai no Onna 1952 (youtube)
Caught Between China & Japan: Superstar Li Xianglan
She called China her fatherland and Japan her motherland.
She was active in promoting relations with China and other Asian countries. One of her concerns was Japanese “comfort women” military brothels, an issue that still strains ties between Japan and its neighbours.
In her 1987 autobiography, Yamaguchi wrote she was shellshocked when she watched “China Nights” to prepare the book. “Why did I have to appear in such a movie and perform as ‘Chinese actress Ri Koran (Li Xianglan)’? I felt miserable realising this at this advanced age and I had sleepless nights for months.”
However, according to some Japanese bloggers, the movie was not widely taken as a pure propaganda film but was appreciated by many people in both Japan and China.
“I think song is something that helps shrink boundaries and distances,” Yamaguchi told public broadcaster NHK in 1985. “I myself suffered much as I was trapped in a war between two countries as long as I remember. Therefore I am determined not to tolerate any war.” (via)
Ozu and mother (via)
“Ozu remained single and childless all of his life and stayed alone with his mother who died less than two years before his own death.
Ozu died in 1963 of cancer on his 60th birthday.. buried with his mother. His grave at Engaku-ji in Kamakura bears no name—just the character mu (“nothingness”)”
Happy mother’s day!
Born in 1970. Graduated from Kyoto University, art research course in 1994.
Creating an original dream machines called KOKUFUMOBIL that have many interesting functions. One of his machines’ inside is converted into a fridge and the other one is converted into tropical jungle. He made a walker that has a helmet with a propeller. His machines are materialized of our child-hood dream. Also which includes an ecological point of view, such as measuring the exhaust gas by balloons and visualize it. Car with a sail run by wind power. Watering the garden in the air by wind power.
Artist Osamu KOKUFU, 44, passed away on April 29th. R.I.P. (Mainichi – in Japanese only)
Click to see large
Humanitarian activities (design boom)
Shigeru Ban (NY times) wins Pritzker
My student Shigeru Ban wins the Pritzker for his work in temporary structures. Look up his curtain house blowing in wind. And for his tubes of cardboard. I loved a poem he wrote that was about being confused at 20 by going from Japan to New York all the time. His embrace of victims of the storms. Proud of his clear architecture.Another example of the greatness of John Hejduk’s conception of the social contract which is, after all, architecture. The fantasies at Cooper became the poetry within disaster. Cardboard !
Shigeru Ban.Paper tube emergency shelter .Time lapse video
Balthus and Setsuko, Chateau-d’Oex, Switzerland, 1989 ..
Harumi (Balthus daughter) is a Jewlery designer
Beauty of Spring (Vimeo) (Created by Donatella Wenders/Mrs Wim Wenders)
Bono makes an apperance.. and unlike Balthus little girls Harumi grew up to became a mother.
Ichiro Kojima (onlinebrowsing) – see more photos.
Kojima (b. 1924, Aomori, Japan) served the war effort in China during World War II and returned to his homeland, Aomori, in 1946. Having passed through several jobs, he began to help out in the family business, a photographic equipment shop.
Tsugaru, the series in this exhibition, was shot during Kojima’s first four years as a photographer; it may be said that it was during this time he worked on Tsugaru where Kojima developed his characteristic printing technique.
Under the guidance of an experienced beggar, the younger blind man would learn the basics of shamisen and begging. These men, called bousama (sarcastically meaning “honorable monk,”), were definitely at the bottom of the social ladder. They traveled through farming and fishing areas, where they would be able to play for food in order to survive.
Tsugaru-Aomori Japan (see map)