My first video is “Travel through time to Kyoto Gion”.
It was made up of 15 still images. The series photo is putting in ” Gallery” of this site.
THe origin of idea
This work is just first what I had created under a definite concept.
The concept originates from one paragraph of ” Oku no hosomichi-tabidachi (奥の細道-旅立ち)” by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉.
“ Months and days are like strangers traveling forever. Going and coming years are also like travelers.”
“ 月日は百代の過客にして、 行きかふ年も また旅人なり Tsukihi wa hiyakudai no kakaku nisite ikikau tosi mo mata tabibito nari”
And, The concept is the following.
We are prone to separate time into past, present and future, but in fact, time is like a stranger traveling forever. That’s why time ought to be able to travel freely into past, present, and future.
If that were so, once we enter into the same space as time, we naturally would be able to travel wherever we want. In other words, we ought to be able to travel through time. It may seem paradoxical, but the space itself is just timeless space.
This time, the reason that I chose Kyoto, especially Gion as a subject of my topic is that this space is just one timeless zone which has not changed much throughout the ages. Kyoto is the ancient city which had been the Capital City of Japan for about 1000 years. It even now exists as one timeless zone where we can travel to an unchangeable space from past to present.
In this series, I intend to document the timeless existence hiding behind this zone, and by that I intend to try traveling through time. The key words or key objects to begin this journey through time, that is, to be symbolized as entrances to coming and going into the past, present and future, for example, they are as time tunnels that are created by light and dark , or are traditional existence.
Location & Timeline
Under the concept, I went on a shooting trip to Kyoto.
I had photographed on eight locations for six days.
Eight location are the following on Kyoto Map.
Yasaka jinja 八坂神社
Simogamo jinja 下賀茂神社
Kamigamo jinj 上賀茂神社
This series consists of 15 Black and White folios.
Each image is the following.
“The temple gate of Hounenin 法然院 standing in light”
This picture should be situated in the beginning of this series. Because this temple gate becomes an entrance to this traveling through time, and the shining world spread behind the gate is a timeless zone where we will visit next, passing through the temple gate.
“The street in Gion”
The first place of journey through time from the temple gate is this street. It exists as the space to where people come and go from past to present. Gion is the best Geisha distirct (花街 Hanamachi) in Japan. Here is the temple town of Yasaka Shrine(八坂神社). This holy place is friendly and is called Gion san (祇園さん) by Kyoto jin (京都人). Yasaka shrine was built in 656 A.D.
“The Noren ( 暖簾 )of Machiya (町家) in Gion”
Machiya is a Japanese old traditional house. It’s located at the entrance of Machiya standing along an old street. Once we pass through a Noren curtain, we can see another timeless world.
“The figure of Maiko (舞妓)”
This picture shows the figure of a maiko who appeared in the dim light of night. We will be able to see the divine figure in the Machiya who is rarely seen in the street.
She is considered a time-honored custom. It’s the world of the Maiko. She is in training to learn hospitality, refined manners, and an artistic skill such as dancing.
“The fantastic world created by Lighting lantern”
Lantern is a traditional light. The light creates an air of fantasy. We can see another world spread around a lighting lantern.
“The inner court of Machiya”
It’s a traditional small garden, and showing the small world like another timeless space.
“Another world shining through a lattice door (格子戸 Kousido)”
Soft lighting through the lattice is like a time tunnel.
“The divine figure of Kinkakuji (金閣寺) reflected on the pond”
It’s a Zen temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. So it’s called the Golden Pavilion. The figure reflected on the pond beckons us to be lost in time.
“Yasaka JinJa (八坂神社) emerged blurry in the light”
Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社Yasaka Jinja), also known as Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. It was founded over 1350 years ago. The blurry figure in the light is the same figure as what ancient people may have looked like.
“The old aqueduct of Nanzenji (南禅寺)”
Nanzenji Temple is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan. The scene through many gates of the Aqueduct is showing the figure like a time tunnel.
“The scene behind the great Torii (鳥居) of Kamigamo shrine(上賀茂神社 Kamogamo jinja)”
Kamigamo shrine (上賀茂神社) is one of The Kamo Shrines, which consists of two shrines: Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The Kamo shrines even predate the city’s establishment as national capital in 794 AD. They are two of the most important and oldest shrines in Kyoto. Torii separates this world and the holy precincts. This scene behind torii is the timeless space.
“The Tadasu no Mori (糺すの森) of Shimogamo Shrine (下賀茂神社)”
It surrounds Shimogamo Shrine (下賀茂神社 Shimogamo Jinja). It’s a forest which was preserved during the modernization of the city and contains trees that are up to 600 years old. The forest forms a large tunnel of trees. “ The Tadasu no Mori” means a baptismal forest.This picture will show a religious world.
“The silhouette of five-storied pagoda in Toji (東寺)”
Toji Temple, literally “ East Temple”, was founded at the beginning of the Heian Period, just after the capital was moved to Kyoto in the late 700s The large pagoda had been one of the symbols of the capital city since ancient times. The silhouette is the same scene as many people would have seen.
“A maiko passing like a flash in front of my eyes at the Gion street”
This picture is the flashback symbol around this journey through time. And it means the end of this journey is pressing on.
“A passenger standing at the temple gate”
Just now I have returned to the beginning gate of this journey through time.
Just when I passed through here, I ended this journey through time.
This side, passing through the gate is the real word.
Just at that moment, I was asking myself,
“Who is the passenger? Which time did she come from?”
“ Time is traveller.”
Another work of the series is creating the production of video as a slide show.
Music : By Pink Floyd ” Atomic Heart Mother”
Music:”春の海-Haru no Umi-” Composer- Miyagi Michio 宮城道雄
From “和楽器による京の調べ- 日本の調べ”