• “Mono-ha”

    Kamakura Gallery

    Mono-ha (the French translation, Ecole des Choses, always sounds better than something like the “Things group”) flourished as a loosely unified movement from the late ’60s to the mid ’70s and, with the possible exception of the Gutai group, was the most important postwar art movement in Japan. This three-part miniretrospective of Mono-ha featured nine of its leading artists.

    What was it? Well, for example: Lee U-Fan (a Korean) dropped a stone on a plate of glass, and the glass cracked. Nobuo Sekine laid a large plate of polished black stone on a huge column of white sponge, and the sponge half

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  • Yama—Yareretara Yarikaese

    Mitsuo Sato, Kyoichi Yamaoka

    Sad but true: expression is a life-and-death struggle. Yama—Yareretara Yarikaese (Yama—dare to take revenge, 1986) is a disturbing film that begins with a chronology of the workers’ struggle in and around Tokyo’s Sanya (or “Yama”) district, superimposed over an aerial view of the area. The last line reads, “December 22, 1984.” We then see blood on the pavement, a man lying in the street, and a close-up of his face. He seems to be still breathing weakly. There is no indication that this is Mitsuo Sato, the initiator and first director of the film, who was stabbed to death on that day by a rightist

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