端午の節句 (Tango No Sekku)

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Today is May 5th, which is the Tango No Sekku holiday. It was celebrated as ‘boys day’ in Japan throughout the centuries, embodying the Japanese martial tradition of grooming boys into men. It involve various symbols of samurai armour and weaponry and Koinobori, the fabric carp streamers are flown throughout the land. The picture above was taken today in Nishi-Kasi, Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. Boys day is also the occation for the celebration of Momotaro, the Peach Boy. As part of the 2nd edition of the Cowboys and Indians series  at Courtyard Hiroo Gallery, Tokyo,  I will present an installation/ performance around my on-going theme of the mango and the Indian myths that give meaning to this wondrous fruit. I will engage with Japanese traditions via of the legend of Momotaro. During the performance, I will present an an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company and I will develop an association between Indian and Japanese symbolism centered on the substitution of the peach for the mango.

Momotaro-san!

momomdiumMomotaro-san arrived in Vancouver today from San Francisco. He will be accompanying Jane, Tara, Durga and myself in May to perform in Tokyo. The Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition performance will take place at 7 pm 11th May 2018 at Courtyard Hiroo, as part of a show titled ‘Home’ in the Expanded Field’. Momotaro-san will be back in Japan in time for  Tango no Sekku (5th May) or ‘Boys Festival’ (now  renamed Kodomo no Hi  or Children’s Day) a day on which he is traditionally celebrated and honoured throughout the land. Momotaro or  ‘Peach Boy’ is known to have been born of a giant peach found by an old and childless. Momotaro grows up and as a youth, he goes off on an adventure to overcome the Oni (ogres) on Onigashima (Ogre Island) and becomes a hero.  Momotaro is, for the Japanese people, a symbol of boyhood, vitality, and valiance. He is also a martial figure.