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Where Do We Come From? 
What Are We? 
Where Are We Going?


single channel video installation with stereo sound

4 minutes 50 seconds, color

Dimensions variable


In his book ‘The Center-Empty Structure: the Deep Structure of Japan’, 1 psychologist Hayao Kawai (1928-2007) draws on the oldest extant book of Japanese mythology, ‘The Kojiki’, to understand the “emptiness” of Japanese society, history, and culture. He focuses on the fact that after their initial appearance, the core and central deities, such as Amenominakanushi who first appears, Tsukuyomi, one of the three noble deities (Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and Susanoo), and Hosuseri, the second child of the heavenly grandchild Ninigi who gave birth to three gods, hardly appear and become passive players. While contrasting with Western centrality and absoluteness, Kawai argues that this center-empty structure represents Japanese society and culture, which allow for the maintenance of mutual balance and coexistence without eliminating various conflicts and contradictions. It may be possible to criticize Kawai’s interpretation as “arbitrary” or “subjective”, but it could be one guideline for communities and communication in this age of growing disparities.


In this work, ‘The Kojiki’ is quoted, and the focus is on the scene in which Izanaki performs misogi (purification) after returning from the land of the dead, with the actual timeline deconstructed and reconstructed, and the specific events and genders changed. By creating a montage of myths that would have been strongly affecting the generation of collective memories, as the Surrealists during the interwar period did, this work attempts to connect personal memory to the public sphere, and generate a plurality of second and third times and experiences.


1 Hayao Kawai: The Center-Empty Structure: the Deep Structure of Japan, CHUOKORON-SHINSHA, 1982





4 分 50 秒, カラー, サイズ可変

心理学者の河合隼雄(1928-2007)は『中空構造日本の深層1 おいて、現存最古の書物である日本神話『古事記』から、日本の社会・歴史文化における「中空性」を読み取っています。最初に登場する神であるアメノミナカヌシや三貴神(アマテラス、ツクヨミ、スサノオ)のツクヨミ、また天孫ニニギの子である三神の中間子ホスセリなど、その中心・中央となる神が最初に現れた後、殆ど登場せず無為の存在となっていることに着目しました。河合は、西欧的な求心性・絶対性と対比しつつ、中心の無いこうした中空構造が、様々な対立や矛盾を排除せず相互の均衡を保ちつつ共存を可能にしている日本の社会や文化の在り方を示していると論じています。こうした河合の解釈を「恣意的、主観的」と批判することも可能かもしれませんが、分断が拡大している現代において、共同体の在り方を示す一つの指針となりえるのかもしれません。



1  河合隼雄『中空構造日本の深層』中央公論新社、1982年

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