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04/14, Arts Culture Tourism from Tokyo
Welcome to NOTEBOOK, a cultural guide to art, design and architecture, along with a resource of local news and information in English giving a realistic view of Tokyo and further afield.
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From Nakameguro (to Everywhere)
News was another mix of terror and trivia: North Korea fired a ballistic missile at the Sea of Japan, its first since March 27th; the Japanese space exploration startup ispace confirmed its lunar lander would attempt to touch down on the moon’s surface later this month; Tokyo Disneyland was due to celebrate its 40th anniversary; while the renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami published his first full-length novel in almost six years, hitting Japanese bookstores at the turn of midnight.
There was also a long list of exhibitions that are opening or have already opened. The American sculptor Richard Rezac makes a rare appearance at Misako & Rosen in Otsuka with “Setting”. Meanwhile, painter David Ostrowski appears on the floor above at at Fig. with his solo exhibition of “Anti Drawings”.
The Japanese painter Shunsuke Imai opened a large retrospective show the same day with “Skirt and Scene” at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery near Shinjuku. Ostrowski also appears from this weekend in “Watercolours, Chapter III” at XYZ Collective in Sugamo, a group show curated by Weiss Falk from Zurich, and runs until May 14th.
One artist taking part is American painter Sanya Kantarovsky who also opens his own solo exhibition “After birth” at the new Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto which opened this same day and runs until May 27th.
But before jumping on a train to see them, we walk through Nakameguro and along the Meguro River, eavesdrop on an orchestra rehearsing and catch a breath of fresh air.
The Meguro River runs east, through Nakameguro and out towards Tokyo Bay through Shinagawa and Tennozu Isle, and while the stretch that passes through Nakameguro is often the most recognized stretch of river, best visited during spring and the ‘Hanami’ cherry blossom season, the whole river is also a vital part of the city’s cultural and cinematic landscape. The 1989 film Violent Cop『その男、凶暴につき』starring and directed by Takeshi Kitano, frequently features the Meguro River winding a way through the film, much to the frustration of Kitano’s troubled Detective Azuma.
Fast forward 12 years and the part closest to Nakameguro Station is more universally recognizable to its Musical connections, thanks in part to the 2001 album “Point” by Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius).
The river in 2023 has remained relatively unchanged. Nakameguro is slowly undergoing a facelift under the elevated train line that runs across the river. Yet, as central Tokyo undergoes its own slow revolution, away from smoke of bars and the cafe culture of the early 2000s and the less glamorous parts of itself during the late 1980s, the heart of Nakameguro and Meguro River has managed to stay the same.
新プログラム『NOTEBOOK』 ARTS CULTURE TOURISM from TOKYO
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