Friday, February 26, 2010

What is Your Sport?

In the Willow's Shadow - News from Flower City
(10/02/26) What is your sport?

What is your sport?
Let's play together.

200 years ago, in the Edo period, I imagine Kyoto was a world of black and grey. People wore patterns coded to caste and occupation. A man or woman could easily be judged and treated according to his or her rank of birth.

Yet here, in the flower city, people were treated in a basic human sense, as bodies.

The human body is capable of many things. In the Olympics, humans from any country compete as equals. Gold goes to she or he who has the greatest practice and the greatest skill.

Sport, the practice of play, takes many forms, but where the rules are strict, the masters compete as human equals.

What is your sport? What is your stadium?

Is it an earthen field? A concrete street? A grass thatched hut?

Let's meet on the field, and play. Give it your best shot.

Sport は?








Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hana yori dango? Rice cakes over flowers?

In the Willow's Shadow - News from Flower City
(10/02/12) Hana yori dango? Rice cakes over flowers?

Rice cakes over flowers? Nutrition or beauty?

This week, during each class I ask which people would rather do: eat rice cakes or watch flowers. It is a difficult question. Nutrition or design? I think it comes down to flavor.

Without beauty, in its many forms, food is not delicious and it is rarely satisfying.
But, without nutrition or context, design is shallow, and seems almost meaningless.

Some people claim that useless art is more valuable and more pure than useful art or "craft." Perhaps, some people believe that flowers are only beautiful if they are not useful.

But I wonder if their "purity" and their "uselessness" is actually used? If someone uses a flower for its value as a "useless" status object, they are still using a flower.

As long as art and craft are kept separate, isn't so much food eaten without appreciation and don't so many flowers wither alone?

Although not all plants can be eaten, the messages they might carry may be just as flavorful! Perhaps, this added spice of design, is, today, one thing that this flower city has to offer.

Rice cakes over flowers? Nutrition or beauty?







Thursday, February 4, 2010

Movie Theater

In the Willow's Shadow - News from Flower City
(10/02/05) Movie Theater

The classroom is a movie theater- the garden is the movie. Its drama slowly unfolds. Soon, the plum tree, and then the cherry tree will become the star of the show. However, the garden is not the only movie. I move, you move, and we make a movie together as both audience and actor.

As you walk down Hanayacho, consider each house and shop as the stage for a movie. Even the street is a stage!

In the old days, the celebrities here were the Great Lords. They were painted and photographed. Their images were seen all over Shimabara, Kyoto, and Japan. I imagine they were quite similar to todays celebrities, like Lady Gaga or Hamasaki Ayumi.



昔にこのへやに太夫は有名人でしたね。書きられて写真とられて太夫さんの絵がいっぱいありました。島原や京都や日本の色々な所で太夫のかおを見えたかな。多分、現代にLady Gaga やHamasaki Ayumiのかおはそんなに有名ですね。