MAIKO COLORS

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More than Retro : Youmise Department in Asakusa

【Japanese version is below; 日本語は下にあります。】
When it comes to Japanese traditional culture and landscapes to feature the olden days, I guess they give you a very different awareness depending on your perspective. Some feel nostalgic in a way, maybe from the past experience and good-old days, but others feel new energy to learn to think about something in new and refreshing ways. Most of districts in central Tokyo tend to rapidly be converted from one form to another for redevelopment needs and the scene structures are really hard to maintain throughout the ages. In contrast, we must remember there are also a lot of areas in downtown Tokyo full of old town vibes such as temples, shrines, spacious cemeteries and durable aged buildings surrounding to preserve the scenery. And for next week, the art-old Japanese culture fusion event will be happily taking over entire exhibition halls at Lion Building in Asakusa in between the success of the event’s first appearance last summer and upcoming their next edition for this coming summer in Yanaka district.
Entitled “Youmise Department”, the 4 day event aims to re-activate old Japanese culture in quirky and a bit of scary forms; with over 50 ‘Yokai’ (or Japanese specter, monster, goblin and elf often seen in Japanese horror films in English) creators with great knowledge for Japanese old stories – such as Japanese horror novelist regend Ranpo Edogawa’s world to provide to the audience – due to participate, the event promotes traditional Japanese culture for every generation and ideally to educate the young generations about respect for old Japanese culture, providing a quiz night and exhibitions of artists’ works (you may purchase their works during the event too). Also as of now, Tomoko Kaizu, the event organizer/promoter, expects that the Asakusa neighborhood, especially around the Kaminarimon area, might have some Japanese-style masquerade party times because participating artists and interested visitors to the event have sent out tweets like they’ll get dressed up along the event theme so far. It’ll be a fun & inspiring event to spend one of beautiful spring days in Tokyo exploring some epochs of Japanese history to bring to life.

妖店百貨店 -Illustration by Tofuboy Records / Photo courtesy of Art Galerie Yanaka-Furacoco
イラストレーション: トウフボーイレコーズ / 画像提供元: アートギャルリ谷中ふらここ

昔からある文化や風景。それを知覚することを「懐かしさ」ととらえる人、「いまの自分の生活にとって新しい感覚」ととらえる人、、、そこにはいろいろな関係性があるはずだ。特に、再開発が進み景色が新しい形に変化していくエリアが多いここ東京では。この街の中で、古き良きものを残すための地域保全に努めるエリアもあることを忘れずにいたい。お寺が多く、築年数の長い建物が多く、神社や霊園も近いひそやかな魅力を持つ東京の下町。その一角、谷根千エリアで去年の8月に開催された日本の昔からのこわい話やホラー映画に出てくるような「妖怪」をテーマにしたイベントが、今年の夏の2回目の開催を前に、浅草で来週、アートと文化をより融合させた姉妹イベントを開催する。
「妖店百貨展」と称して、イベントは全4日間、昔から日本に言い伝わる妖怪をテーマとした創作や、日本の怪奇小説作家江戸川乱歩のような妖しげな世界観をもつ作家など50名近くの作品が集結し、謎解きイベント含め、いろいろなメニューで日本の古き良き文化の再活性化を図る。主催の海津智子氏は、イベント出展者や来場者たちが和装や妖怪の装いをする予定、という反応を確認しており、現時点ではまだ規模は小さいものの、いずれは浅草雷門周辺を和風ハロウィン状態にしていきたいと語る。
イベントは日本の歴史的情緒にふれながら、同時に「コワ面白い」刺激に溢れる時間となるだろう。そして、ひと昔前の情景で生まれた感覚を今の時代にも運び込むことは、いろいろな世代の人がコミュニケーションを円滑にはかるためのヒントを得る絶好のチャンスに違いない。-MAIKO 

-The event Youmise Department runs through 4 days; Thursday the 26th to Sunday the 29th of March at Lion Building located at 2-11-10, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku in Tokyo. If you have any further questions for this event, contact Tomoko Kaizu at youmise@outlook.jp

-「妖店百貨展」は浅草のライオンビルにて、3月26日(木)から29日(日)の会期で開催されます。
詳細情報は http://youmise.wix.com/department をご覧ください。お問い合わせは youmise@outlook.jp へお願いいたします。 

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