Monday, June 14, 2010

Exercise #1: What is sacred to me?

I find sacred in "vacancy".

Certain things or places which are suspended or vacated to something unknown.

Persons who concentrate and listen carefully to something very important or difficult to catch.

Because they are open and naked I feel difficulty in approaching them casually.



Actually, I'm afraid I don't follow what "sacred" is saying. I wonder if it would be a kind of unconscious area. Or something I keep away from doing, even though I believe I can do anything if I try. I'd like to get some more information about the theme of this project. Maybe I just need to study English more.
I'm not sure how I can think of it. So let me tell you something about a dream this morning. In the dream, I wanted to wake up earlier as possible. That's why I tried to set the alarm clock for the yesterday time. Can I use my alarm clock as a time machine?
I'm trying to think of the opposite of Sacred as Meaning. I see a lot of meaning through the window. The wall of the shop is painted in orange because it stands out easily. Plants of entrance, shape of door, direction of street and much more. I cannot find people who has no purpose. Walking is good for your health. For me, sacred is to forget what I am doing, why this is so.


I was in a very crowded, concentrated area of Tokyo called, Shibuya, I was having coffee in a tall building. Outside the window there was a concrete electrical pole and wires. I saw a long black crow’s feather very very slowly drift downward. Everything around me, the noise, the people, and even myself, disappeared. It was a very quiet calm feeling. “What’s happening?” At times I get that feeling again. These experiences of this subliminal feeling are sacred to me.

Once I helped a friend with his performance in central Tokyo. Afterwards we went to a terrible all-night karaoke and song place to have an after party. Before sunrise I went to the station to catch the first train by myself. I bought a can of coffee from a vending machine and sat in the lonely station.

There was a loud announcement, “Good morning everybody” These simple words hit me and made me joyous. I got on the train and the sun came up. I cried with happiness.


Sacred to me

are human relationships that are based on acceptance, which I confront on a daily basis from my son.

is the moment when I am standing still and my body realizes that balance is non-balance.

is to give myself away.


Every single thing on the earth can be sacred.
For me, and I believe for everyone as well, sacredness is a very subjective
matter, so it all depends on our mental and physical states.
The state I feel sacredness is when I feel I am totally alone in this
world, like "here it's Me facing to The world/nature/the others".
Sometimes a thing/person becomes the trigger to get me into such a state by
making me think that it is representing the world. Then suddenly the
thing/person becomes SACRED.
So, to feel sacredness, I need some space or blank or distance in between
me and "non-me", all the other things which are not me.
When I feel it, I awe, I am very excited at the same time I am very calm.
I think I like it.


A sacred thing for me is that quite differing can communicate each other. The intention can communicate even if there are completely neither a rule nor a culture common to them. It is miracle.

I try the same thing is said by another expression. I think permitting is related to sacredness. For instance, Jesus Christ often says permission in the Christianity. In Japan when someone permit others, often said, "I throw it into water" ,this expression comes from the ceremony of an old religion of Japan. These two are related to sacredness. But I receive quite different feeling from these two cultures "Permission". Japanese will say “It is forgottn” and Christ may say “father can do”. But these two maybe able to permit. It’s sacred.


Sacred to me is
a sudden strike of existence
liquidation of soul
in a primordial fire
a moment of terrible clarity and darkness
unquestionable and unconceptual surrender
where you overcome yourself
and become part of something much larger
and eternal

Day One.

I'm sitting at the docks at the southern-most point of Helsinki peninsula. The sea is wide open, bright light is falling into it through a thin field of clouds. I try to point at the sacred with my mind but it seems impossible. Thinking and thinging it thins it to a point where it is no longer perceptible, let alone effable. My thoughts are thin membranes that rip open as they try to connect one aspect of reality with another – they reveal and cover, stretching and breaking until almost nothing is left.

I sit on a bench and try to be sacred instead of thinking it. My eyes become many eyes, layered on top of each other. They are at once open and closed. My skin becomes very thin and pourous, just as my thoughts did. I hear a very gentle rustle behind my back. Soon after, drops of water start falling through my skin.

These small moments when I don't feel like dying could be sacred to me.

Day Two.

I'm lying on my back on a concrete slab that covers a former butcher's house. A lamb is lying on the floor, with her throat cut open and her bloor running into the gutter. After her hoofs have been cut off, her skin is removed and the carcass is hung on a hook, ready to be transported into the fridge.

I look up to the skies; they are covered by a field of heavy clouds hanging down from the blue. Soon, it will start raining. I recall all the animal lives that I've taken and imagine bathing in their blood.

Day Three.

I'm back on the bench, drinking coffee and smoking a cigar called ”equanimity”. Today, the color of the sea matches the color of my shoes. The sky is a lighter blue – it is still morning.

A woman comes to me, wanting to buy a cigarette from me. I give her the cigarette called ”bend”. As I watch her walk away, I keep thinking I should've given her the ”prayer mat”. Wondering what she would've prayed for.

It feels like we lost our virginity a long time ago – so long ago that we hardly remember what it's like to be innocent. At times, I can still experience integrity, forgiveness and grace, independently of what I might of said or done, but they do not belong to me. Therefore, I cannot name the sacred, nor can I sanctify anything in this world – but I can try to make room for it and let it happen.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Workshop Structure

1st Workshop: Helsinki, November 9th-22nd 2010:

A two-week workshop including a series of performances at the Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival.

2nd Workshop: Tokyo, February 2011:
A two-week workshop including a series of performances, possibly at Tokyo Performing Arts Market 2011

Workshop I — Helsinki 2010

November 8th: Arrival in Helsinki. Accommodation and other practicalities. Introduction to the main spaces and places that will be used during the workshop.

Day 1 (Nov 9): Personal experience
We will meet with the whole group, acquaint ourselves with each other and discuss the theme of the workshop. After this, we will start exploring out personal experience of the sacred in the urban environment.

Days 2-3 (Nov 10-11): Shared experience
We will develop ways of sharing our experience with others. This will involve coming up with personal rituals and practices that can be shared with another person or with a bigger group of people. Each of us will be able to use the methods that we feel most comfortable with.

Days 4-5 (Nov 12-13): Group experience
We will develop our concepts and practices further, fi nding ways of applying them to a group situation. We will observe the similarities, differences and underlying connections between our individual approaches and fi nd ways of locating them in a shared space, mentally as well as physically. The aim is to stay connected to the original experience of the sacred while co-existing and working with others.

Day 6 (Nov 14): Day off

Days 7-9 (Nov 15-17): Preparation
We will design a performance structure based on the practices and performances that we’ve come up with during the previous days, as well as set up a space for it.

Days 10-12 (Nov 18-20): Performance
We will share our practices with the public in a series of performances, which will be connected to the Baltic Circle Theater Festival. The events can range from one-to-one interactions to group scores, and they can be situated both in the urban environment as well as the indoor spaces available to us.

Days 13-14 (Nov 21-22): Evaluation
During the last days of the workshop, we will review the events that have taken place and share our respective views and experiences. We will also discuss the future of the project.

During the workshop, we will work both out in the city and in a studio space rented for the occasion. We hope to fi nd a space located in the center of the city, so that it will be easy to move in and out between the studio and the urban environment. The idea is to explore the impact that the surrounding has on our experience of the sacred, and for each of us to find a setting that best supports our personal interpretation of it. The studio will serve as an anchor point for the workshop and the performances resulting from it.

Workshop II - Tokyo 2011

In the second workshop, the work will be adapted to Tokyo/Yokohama, which will connect the two urban environments with each other and establish a common experiential ground between them. We are currently discussing the possibility of participating in TPAM 2011 with the festival organizers. If this will be realized, the second workshop will take place in Yokohama, February 7th-21st 2011.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sacred City Project Description

The Sacred City is a collaborative project between Reality Research Center, an artistic research collective from Finland, and a group of forefront Japanese artists. During winter 2010-2011, the project will infi ltrate two very different cities: Helsinki and Tokyo/Yokohama. In both cities, we will organize a workshop followed by a performance.

The workshops center on the experience of the sacred in the contemporary society. The aim of the project is to look at the sacred from a personal perspective, outside the prevailing cultural and religious contexts. We will try to go beyond the connotations that the term normally evokes in us and to create new interpretations of it, both individual and shared.

At the beginning of the workshop, each of the participants will have a chance to explore their personal connection to the sacred and fi nd ways of experiencing it in the urban environment. After this, we will look for ways of sharing this experience with others through performative means. This will involve coming up with personal practices and rituals, which can be performed both alone and in a group, as well as evolving them with the other participants. The work will result in a series of performances or performance-like events, which will be shared with an audience.

We will approach the workshop as a continuous practice of the sacred. This means that all our actions, including meetings, being in the work space, talking or working with others, will happen in a relation to the sacred - whatever it may mean to each of us.