Star of the Stars  福福星


Surely it is the emotions of the dead they are decking themselves out with.

from Message from the Night by Kai Iruma

Often the styles conceived by these people seem not so much cool as grotesque, with over-the-top colors and ornamentation. 
 I really can’t say why fashions like theirs have come about, although they remind me a bit of the gods of Buddhism or Hinduism.
As to what that something is, we might find one answer in the ideas of Kohei Sugiura, an outstanding graphic designer who is also a student of traditional Asian imagery. Sugiura observes that matou, one of the Japanese words for “to wear,” is synonymous with entering a state of possession where one takes on the very soul of what one has attired around one’s body. For example, tachiki (“standing tree”) designs on Japanese kimono depict cherry, plum, or other trees growing upward from hem to shoulder and spreading their branches and flowers out wide across the entire garment. By wrapping her body in this kimono with its riot of blossoms, a woman in effect turns into a tree herself.
According to Sugiura, the people of old were not very attached to their human status, and instead were much more drawn to the idea of taking on some other form of existence, such as that of a blossoming tree. Through this symbolic act of transformation, they sought to take onto themselves the latent energies of life and death pulsing within that tree. This kind of thinking has roots in the Asian belief that one’s life is a gift from one’s ancestors and from the myriad spirits residing in nature. When the self is acknowledged to be insignificant, then it becomes much easier for people to want to let themselves go and join the natural spirit world in the form of a cherry or plum tree.


夜の知らせ 入間カイ

例えば、 立木文様といわれる日本の着物は桜の木や梅の木の文様が縫い込まれて模様になっています。まさに百花繚乱の世界ですが、この着物を纏うことで、その女性は花盛りの木へと変身することになるといいます。



Towns may come and go . . . but the well remains where it always was, thus explaining the phenomenon of successive towns built around the same sacred place, the spirit of which became the foundation deity, receiving the sacrifices offered in expiation of the crime of settlement and giving the law by which the city was governed. Implicit in this law was a contract between man and god by which the first was permitted a conditional use of land for agriculture and building in return for duties and observances paid to the second. So it was understood by the founding fathers of ancient cities. But as cities expand these limitations become more onerous and more neglected, with the result that, in the language of apocalypse, the holy city becomes Babylon, the parasitic whore, and proceeds to destruction. 
(John Michell, The Earth Spirit: Its Ways, Shrines, and Mysteries, 1975) 
「地霊 聖なる大地との対話」 ジョン・ミッシェル著 荒俣宏訳


SkyEarth: The Last Paradise

Every day I watched the sky and the sea of Funafuti. The god of Funafuti would gently blow on the surface of the clear blue and emerald green sea, and instantly the surface was carved into various shapes. Each moment, they sparkled like jewels in seven colors, only to quickly morph into other shapes. Those jewels were so beautiful they seemed to come from another world, but even the greatest fortune could not buy them. The god of Funafuti just laughs and shows off those stunning playful shapes to anyone who happens to be there watching, feeling the Tuvaluan breeze with their body. Whoever catches sight of such a jewel enjoys a luxury greater than any king or queen at that moment. 

Copyright by Yoichi Nagata. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2022 by Yoichi Nagata. All Rights Reserved.