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Pope & Guthrie
practise their moves

New Japan pictures online

With thanks to KIDA photostudio (Tokyo) we have been able to add more photos of our cult performances in Japan in summer 06!

Look here to see Pope & Guthrie as you've never seen them before....

and endure an interminable opening ceremony
with Barnably Hoskins (l) and Marcus Coates (r)

Toge rice fields - sunny at last

Samurai Swim

Karen and I have just arrived back at the house after picking up our mini car for the last week … downsizing for the final 2 Samurai as Adam, Tim, Jamie and Aiko drive on to Tokyo and no doubt a wrestle with the BA excess luggage limits.
The house feels very calm & quiet now but before they left today things were in pleasant chaos, we all tried to pack as everyone from the village called round and Aiko created a mini whirlwind completing her final translation tasks.
Helped by Aiko and drawing, Karen and I spent an afternoon with the village ladies yesterday in a kind of tea party meets motivational workshop! We drew & spoke about Toge, rice, snow, mountain vegetables, small businesses, a cafe, bringing young people here & the future. It was hard work at points during the three hours & they did seem slightly reluctant to try out the ideas that came up - so this morning I was pleased and surprised when Miyuko san bought round vegetables to sell, with out further persuasion.
The idea is that our house now becomes part exhibition, part café, part social space & part shop for the duration of the triennial, and that for the next week Karen and I encourage this relaxed approach. I hope to learn something about Japanese cooking above and beyond how to work the rice maker.
My sadness at the other Samurai leaving is mixed with excitement about being here on our own for a week. Yesterday it felt as though we made some real progress with some of the village ladies, who up until now have been rather separated from us in a haze of communal cooking. Despite our language problems it seems they are easy to hangout with, Komi san (Kucho san’s mum) is really like Karen’s mum.
Also on the way home from the collecting the car we went to the local swimming pool that Kucho san (village boss-man AKA Kimio san) told us about. After 2 months without a swim it felt like heaven (especially as now it’s stopped raining it’s REALLY hot here) – my life in Toge is now near perfect.

The local pool - shared with 4 children

Ben Sadler
Half of Juneau projects

Badger Parade

Some nice pics. from our cross-town Tokyo costume parade, linking the performances in Sunshine Square and Ikebukuro Arts Square.

Adam & Bedwyr
Promoting the Toge frog biscuit