Takao Kawaguchi – Dancer & performer

I was born in 1962, in Kyushu, South island, Saga in a small town called Arita. I’m the youngest of four children. Arita is known for ceramics, a lot of kilns along the river, my father was part of the industry; our house was an old-fashioned farmhouse, the front part where lots of ceramics were kept.

A memory

November is know as the month of God’s absence, all God’s from Japan go to Izumo, a place on the other side of Japan, they sing Korean. Our home town and every where else, God is absent, we do an event waiting for God to come back, that is when we do ‘Sumo’, in that shrine, a big bonfire, there is a little ring, all the children do Sumo. I did that, spectacular, at night, getting cold; I remember clearly, orange because of the bonfire.


In our town Obon was in July, we decorate the house with ‘chochin’ lanterns of different sizes and shapes, when you have a newly deceased in that year, you visit each other to make prayer and since it is summer everything is open. In our ‘buraku’ (neighbourhood) the cemetery was next to the shrine, on the hill facing West, the direction in which is believed ‘Nirvana’ is, so all cemeteries face towards the West. The tombstone shines with the sunset, reflecting the orange light really bright.