The Fluid States Route: Island Vessel and Dock #9 - Japan encounters Canada

Vessel from Japan to Canada

by Hayato Kosuge

15 September 2015

PSi#21 Fluid States - Japan


To our colleagues and friends at the Performing Turtle, PSi Island Fluid States event in Regina, Canada. We sent greetings and regards from all of us at ‘Beyond Contamination: Corporeality, Spirituality and Pilgrimage in Northern Japan’.


Our conference explored Tohoku as place that consistently ruptures Japan’s artistic and cultural history. As seen in the work of Terayama Shuji and Hijikata Tatsumi, two of the most influential figures in Japanese contemporary performance, the Tohoku region has been a locus of performance, a place where the performing arts mingle with otherworldly atmospheres, contested histories, and expressive landscapes. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11th March 2011, Tohoku has been weighed down by economic burden, and by the spiritual burden of being branded as a “place to be avoided.” At the same time, the spiritual strength of its people and the power of a prayer for this damaged land is becoming rediscovered and felt necessary again.  The concept ‘Beyond Contamination: Corporeality, Spirituality and Pilgrimage’ was pivotal to many aspects of our gathering at this Tohoku site.  Participants joined panels and working groups (performance, corporeality, pilgrimage, place) and they offered keynote addresses, research presentations and performances; all vital and showing how this collective energy of inquiry and adventure in the Tohoku landscape and its histories was the focus for our work.


Our venue, the Aomori Museum of Art, was established in order to propagate the culture of the arts of the Northern Tohoku region of Japan adjacent to the Jomon period historical site, Sannai Maruyama, first settled around 3900 before the Common Era.  Our vessel contains representations of this ancient spiritual source of the Japanese way of being.  This is also represented in Nebuta figure, large floating sculptures that are carried through the streets of Aomori in the summer.  Our vessel includes Nebuta souvenirs in the form of a ‘geta’ sandal.  We include our Aomori Fluid States ‘tenugui’ and ‘sensu’ for cooling down the travel efforts. Together these items represented our “pilgrimage” from Aomori in Northern Japan to your country in a chain of intellectual and artistic exchanges that is Psi fluid states 2015.


From Hayato Kosuge, Takashi Morishita, Yu Homma, Katherine Mezur, Peter
Eckersall, (Aomori Psi Fluid States organizing committee) and delegates from the Tohoku Cluster.


Copyright –  Hayato Kosuge  (2015) “Japan – Canada Vessel”, PSi #21 Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing LOG, ed. Marin Blazevic, Bree Hadley and Nina Gojic, Performance Studies international (PSi), 1 January 2015-31 December 2015, available

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