Archive for ‘literature’

December 28, 2012

Kobo Abe and Hiroshi Teshigahara 安部公房と勅使河原宏


There are stories about people such as Kobo Abe and Hiroshi Teshigahara who developed new kind of literature, art and films after domination of huge formidable power of big names in the industry such as Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu. Very inspiring stories.

December 24, 2012

安部公房の演説 Talks by Kobo Abe

Completely fulfilling jail cell or completely deprived freedom? This is the question Kobo Abe asked in his talk among some things he talked about. In later parts of the talk, he talks about the role of literary works. I really enjoyed this talk,  but it is in Japanese, so I write down some of his points below.

Which one would we choose? Completely fulfilling jail cell, or completely deprived freedom? Our lives are double-crossing of both. We generally choose more predictable situations. Almost all the science are attempts to predict the future. Human thoughts and efforts seek stability. But if everything were predictable, we would not be able to tolerate it. We would kill ourselves. Desire of people who practice literacy works and other forms of arts is to put themselves in the deprived freedom. Fortune-telling has the exact opposite role as literacy works. There is a type of novel that corners people into the deprived freedom. Literacy works are useless things, they are not practical things. But if there is a reason why literature exists, I think bringing people back to the deprived freedom is the literacy works’ only reason of existence.

What do you think? I watched Groundhog Day a few days ago and reminded me of this talk not entirely but a little bit especially when Bill Murray was freaking out because everyday was Groundhog Day. I think “deprived freedom” is what’s essential to develop our individuality and internal freedom. “Fulfilling jail cell” would make us and our minds powerless.

完全に満たされた独房か、完全に欠乏した自由か?予測可能な未来と、次の瞬間が予 測できない状況。我々は両方に二股かけた感じで生きている、実際に次が見えてしまうと人間はそれに耐えることができない。人間は予測可能な状態を自ら選 ぶ。例えば占いなんかは人間の未来を予測したいという願望の現れである。しかし文学と占いは正反対の役割を果たすものである。欠乏した自由の方に身を置く ということが、文学、芸術一般に身を置く人々の欲望。そして欠乏した自由の方に人間を追い込むタイプの文学がある。それは本質として人間を不安に陥れる。世の中のほとんどのもの、自然科学は未来を予測しようとするもの。人間の思考や努力は安定を求める、だけど文学は人間をまた欠乏した自由の方向に引き戻すという役割がある。僕はそれが文学の存在理由だと思う。


December 21, 2012

夢を見ることについて About Dreaming: Haruki Murakami and Frying Dutchman


In this speech, world-class Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami talks about Japanese spiritual nature, Earthquake in North East Japan and nuclear incident in Fukushima, and an importance of being “unrealistic dreamer.” I couldn’t find his speech with subtitles, so I translate some parts of his speech even though it’s pain in the ass and my translation skill isn’t quite pro. But I know some people would enjoy it.


“This nuclear incident in Fukushima is the 2nd nuclear damage we Japanese people experience. But this time isn’t like someone dropped an bomb on us. We prepared for it, we made mistakes, we polluted our own land and we destroyed our own lives. Why this ended up happening? The feeling we had for a long time after the war, the feeling of rejection against nukes, where on earth did it disappear? What did impair and distort the peaceful and affluent society we consistently searched for? The answer is easy. It’s efficiency. Power company insists that nuclear reactor is an efficient electric power generating system. In short, it is the system they can make the most profit. Also, Japanese government nationally pushed nuclear power especially after the oil shock due to their skepticism about the stability of crude oil supply. Power company made the money fly as advertising money, bribed media, and planted seeds of an illusion in citizens to make belief of safe nuclear energy. And before we realized, 30% of electricity in Japan was generated by nuclear power. While citizens didn’t know about it too well, this small and crowded country with frequent earthquakes had become the 3rd largest number of nuclear power plants in the world.   ”


“At first, they created accomplished facts. People who are concerned about nuclear power, will be intimidated by accomplished facts like “OK, so you are OK if there isn’t enough electricity? You are OK if you cannot use air-conditioner in summer?” They label people who are skeptical about nuclear power as “unrealistic dreamer.” Then now we are here. Supposedly safe and efficient nuclear reactor is now displaying a terrifying state as if someone opened the lid of the hell. “Look at the reality,” the reality people who supported nuclear power actually wasn’t the reality at all, it was just their superficial convenience. They switched “superficial convenience” and “the reality” to switch the logic. It was the collapse of Japan’s long-lasted technical power myth, and at the same time it was loss of our ethic and norm that tolerated such a switch of the logic. “Please rest in peace. We won’t repeat the mistake.” We have to etch these words in our minds once again.”


“We Japanese people should have kept shouting “NO” against nukes. This is my personal opinion. We should have pursued alternative energy that can replace nuclear energy in the national level by fully mobilizing our technological capabilities, by calling upon wisdom, and by putting social capital into it. That would had been a way for us to collectively take a responsibility for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That also would had been an big opportunity for Japan to truly contribute to the world. However, we lost our precious way in amid rapid economic development because we bought into the standard of efficiency.”

スピーチの最後に村上氏はこう言っています。Mr. Murakami says lastly.


“Dreaming is a novelists’ job. But more importantly, novelists have to share their dreams with people. Without such a sense of sharing, we cannot be novelists. I know that people in Catalonia have been protecting their own language and culture even though they had many difficulties and cruelty in their long history. There must be many things we can share among us. In Japan, and here in Catalonia, if we can equally be “unrealistic dreamers,”  if we can build new values that are common in the world, I think it would be so wonderful. I think that would be a starting point of regrowth of our humanity that went through horrible disasters and horrifying terrors in recent years. We must not fear dreaming. We also must not fear having ideals. We must not let dogs of limitations that have names such as “convenience” and “efficiency” catch up to our footsteps.  We will be “unrealistic dreamers” who move forward with strong steps.”



Japanese band Frying Dutchman did a great performance regarding nuclear power, so I put a video of their street performance below in this opportunity. This video has English subtitles.

October 12, 2012

Hanging Garden 空中庭園

Rain fell this morning turned the air and the town transparent all together. In my sleep, I was listening to the transparent sound of rain falling from top-to-bottom.


In the afternoon, the town had become a cloud town. Big white crisp clouds surrounded every direction of the town, and transparent sunlight made the just-washed transparent town even more tightly crisp. I took a walk in the transparent cloud town and felt good like I was walking through a hanging garden.



10/11 Thu

It rained beautifully in San Diego. As Albert Hammond sings, “it never rains in Southern California.” But when it does, it is even memorable sometimes.  I did a photo project this afternoon to capture the town after the rare rain. Below are the photos. Enjoy.


July 6, 2012

Sleep, Wake, Tendencies 眠り、覚醒、傾向

Sleeping is a rest for body and mind.


While people are sleeping, sleep fixes people’s “tendencies.”


If there are muscles that are tended to overworked, sleep will fix that part of muscle.


If there are heavy tendency in the thinking, sleep will disperse it as dreams.


I read things like that in TV People by Haruki Murakami



If the scientist program massive amount of data in the robot’s Artificial Intelligence, the robot won’t wake.


The scientist programmed 6 billion minds in the robots. There are too many varieties.


To wake the robot, the scientist needs to give it “tendencies”. Strong emotional tendency.


Strong emotion simplifies the world, and tendency sorts out information.


That was what needed to wake the robot up from sleeping in eternal varieties.




I read this last night in Japanese comic book series called Pluto, remake of Atom Boy by Osamu Tezuka.


In our sleep, tendencies are balanced out, cured, enhanced, added, and we wake.


The photo is a painting I finished lately. I tried to describe a boy falling into unconscious state.


January 8, 2012

Jamuel Saxon hangs out with Haruki Murakami ジャミュエル・サクソン、村上春樹と遊ぶ

Keith Milgaten and Jayson Ehm from Jamuel Saxon are San Diego’s musicians that I have genuine admiration for.
I feel very lucky that I could contribute a little bit in their
creative process by making an album cover for their album Pre-Madonnna that is going to be released from Single Screen Records on January 17th. The album release party is on Jan 19th at Casbah.


One night, When I and Keith and Jayson and Haruki Murakami were drinking whisky together, Haruki said, “Act of making something from absolute zero nothing takes lots of whisky and beer, and imagination and energy that are so intense and enormous that could distort and deform your head.”


Haruki is a guy who was usually quiet. Because Haruki suddenly came out with dense sentences, Jayson looked at him skeptically, Keith stopped his thoughts about his new remix, and I forgot 3 nights worth of dreams and 2 mathematical equations in a split second.


The sound o Haruki eating pistachio echoed in the room as if it’s some sort of foretaste.
When Jayson drunk beer, the sound of liquid running through his throat made surprisingly loud sound.
The sober world of Keith is about to reach 3 month of its existence, and only the birds who cry at night know what it’s like.
I observe bizzarre dynamic of three guys and drink straight whisky.


Haruki said, “There are kinds of things you can realize only in the superior music. In some cases, it is so powerful that it changes people’s lives when the raw sound seeps through not only ears but also skins to shake organs then to reach brain.”


When Keith and Jayson started playing music from laptop and keyboard and drums set up in the room, Haruki started dancing as if it was some sort of predestination he couldn’t change anything about it.


When I woke up in the morning, Haruki was gone. And there was a memo that wrote,”I like brave people who are able to create something. Intelligent Dance Music. And All God’s Children Can Dance.”


※This is a fiction


Article on Reader

November 22, 2011

Accidental Visual Poetry 偶然の視覚的な詩

I filmed around my house when it was raining to made a video about a rainy day.

The video was beautiful but also boring.

So I layered random old videos I shot on top of it.

It was fun but also didn’t make sense.

So I wrote some words that go along with the video and edited them in the video.

And it ended up being like a visual poetry.

translation of the words in the video



September 14, 2010

Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges 勘違い帝国

Buddha: ……


Hachi: what are you reading?


Buddha: A really depressing book by this guy Chris Hedges.


Hachi: What is it about?


Buddha: It basically says people are manupulated by media and corporations so can’t see the reality. And we don’t really have democracy anymore because unregulated free market capitalism allowed corporate state to grow stronger than democratic state itself. And corporate state is fundamentally corrupted because it is all about money, not intrinsic humane values.


Hachi: So that the book helps you wrapping your head around the harsh depressing reality huh?


Buddha: The capitalistic society commodify almost literary everything including ourselves and losing the sacred dimension of nature and human being.


Hachi: Now you sound like how Buddha is supposed to. Good for you.


Buddha: I need a beer.


Hachi: IPA?


Buddha: I usually don’t drink to get over depression. But this book is harsh.


Hachi: You better enjoy that beer though because some kids in India are sober.


Buddha: The book had 5 chapters so I need at least 5 beer.


Hachi: The chapter one is called …Illusion of Literacy?


Buddha:  Yea, third of Americans are apparentlly illiterate or barely literate.


Hachi: “The cult of self dominates our cultural landscape. This cult has within it tha classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a pechant for lying; deception and manipulation, and the inability to feel remorse or guilt. This is, of course, the ethic promoted by corporations… We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy others around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy, and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are archieved, they become their own justification.”


Buddha: pretty severe right?


Hachi: And chapter 2 is Illusion of Love.


Buddha: that’s about porn and Vegas and stuffs.


Hachi: That’s awsome.


Buddha: It’s fucked up. kinda hot though.


Hachi: But we are kinda all about getting laid though.


Buddha: Well, that chapter is basically about how porn makes love look like it’s all about hot sex so it makes relationships hard. Do you have Jameson?


Hachi: No I finished the bottle last night. Is drinking OK in buddhism?


Buddha: Well, heavy drinking is kinda like training. You know how some people stare at the sun and stuff. If it’s internaly destructive, it kinda works in a similar way.


Hachi: “Las Vegas strips away the thin moral pretension and hypocrisy of consumer society to reveal its essence. The commodification of human beings, the heart of the consumer society, is garishly celebrated in Las Vegas.” …I see.


Buddha: right? let’s not talk about it though.


Hachi: Let’s get high.


Buddha: I don’t have weed.


Hachi: I found  a new way the other day. Let’s just drink some more and get on the roof. And we see the view upside down. It’s pretty fun.


Buddha: Sounds good.


July 24, 2010

I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume 我輩は猫である 夏目漱石

just finished reading I Am a Cat  by Soseki Natsume, one of the best Japanese classic literature.


The main character, the cat, observes people around him with keen eye, humorously describe and sharply spell out the depth and meanings hiding behind visible human behavior with witt.


Quiz. What are good reasons to eat something or not eat something (何かを食べる、または食べない理由はなんですか?)

1. not that smart, tasty, green house gas (あまり賢くない、おいしい、グリーンハウスガス)

are these good reasons to eat cows? (これらは牛を食べるいい理由ですか?)

2. intelligent, friendly (インテリジェント、フレンドリー)

are these good reasons not to eat dolphines? (これらはイルカを食べないいい理由ですか?)

3. smart, over populated (スマート、過剰人口)

are these good reasons not to eat people? (これらは人間を食べないいい理由ですか?)

4. adorable, over populated (かわいい、多すぎる個体数)

are these good reasons to eat rabbits? (これらはうさぎを食べるいい理由ですか?)

I personally eat meat for like once a month.


We can eat pretty much whatever they want to eat, but I think we should think about it at least.