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At the Inari shrine in Kyoto everything was deep orange, white and black and very beautiful in a crazy over the top way. The deep orange gates are beautiful and carry on up through the mountains for a very long way. Most tourists probably do not go the whole way to the top and it seemed to be a long climb. Perhaps each gate is donated by a business. But I will have to research that. The only English written on a gate that I saw seemed to be a hair salon. There were beautiful pieces of gold covered metal on the edges of the Inari shrine buildings  Japan has really been inspiring to see as I use gold in my sculptures although generally it is faux, plastic or vinyl.

Noh Theatre, Tokyo

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The actors have very controlled movements and when they enter the stage it loos like they are floating or ghosts almost. They move very slowly and with stylised movements. I liked the simple boat made with thin strips if wood to just suggest a boat on Lake Biwa.

One actor had an orange kimono and had a fan and a mask. I was not sure if he was playing the part of a woman or not. Another actor used a fan as well but he was a male character. There is drumming and noises made by the drummers throughout the performance. A flautist played as well but I could not see him on the stage. There was a choir of men in dark tops and grey loose trouser/skirts. They kneeled for the bulk of the play and were very still. Two young men had the most ornate red and gold clothing. A temple coveted with cloth was in the centre of the stage for a long time and finally the fabric was removed to reveal perhaps a deity with an ornate gold hat, gold wide kimono and long loose hair with a plain mask. Three other characters had masks as well  One mask was the face of a very old man.
The theatre has a permanent temple built for the stage with new light brown wood and some carvings in the rafters. The flautist was on stage but behind the cloth shrine.

Under the kimonos are wide voluminous trouser like apparel.
The trousers bulk up by being hung from the back and left to droop down.  There are strange whoops and almost dog like yelps and high and low pitched chants from the drummers.

There is a pine tree painted on the back wall of the temple. The flute music can be very high pitched.
There were three different drums. One was used with two sticks the other two with hands

A scary crazed red haired character comes on stage with a dragon cutout on his head wearing a very shiny gold fabric kimono and orange and gold stripes angled trousers
He is making fast movements and stamping and jumping. Seemed to chase the female off the stage
The wooden drums have orange ropes and tassels on them.
Everyone left the stage and after a few minutes two older men came on stage in plainer clothes in browns creams and green plaid check tops with apron belt things in cream that go over top and look like three ties from the waist. They are saying humorous things and collecting food in the fields
One is doing unusual stylised laughing which is very exaggerated. This is the first time there has been any body contact. The audience laughed quite a lot during this scene.
Hagoromo. The robe of feathers. Some fishermen find a beautiful robe hanging from the branch of spine tree. This story is starting out very slowly and simple chanting like the first one but also includes some of the the doglike yelps and guttural sounds. This one also has the choir kneeling down and two men in blue cotton kimonos and cream coloured bulky trousers also kneeling
The angel who needs the robe to fly to heaven has a gold hat with hanging leaves of gold and an ornate flower on top.  There is more high pitched flute music.
There was a very long session of an angel dancing in the yellow golden robe  with orange and green birds on it which lasted almost half an hour of her dancing very slowly and opening and closing the fan.  She has on a white simple mask with small features.

Down The Dori Exhibition, Tokyo Wonder Site

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We are getting ready for our Down the Dori exhibition tonight. We have a large series of photographs which will fill a studio. We were able to use the Kinkos nearby the Tokyo Wonder Site for our printing needs. All six students from CCW will be exhibiting new work and Peter Stickland will be doing a performance.

Golden Pavillion Kinkaku-ji


The amount if gold at some of the temples and shrines is amazing .
The golden pavilion had three stories and the top two stories are covered in gold. Every square inch is gold. The bottom story is white and brown. The setting at the Golden Pavilion is a beautiful garden and lake with stone walkways. Some of pristine forest and garden paths are not open to the public  I bought a small golden temple souvenir which could be used in an installation and an oval tin of sweets with the Golden Pavilion and Hello Kitty on the lid.  The combination of religious and contemplative place with the commercial Hello Kitty is interesting.