Japan Tour: from Okinawa to Hokkaido

After 10 weeks and 45 screenings in Japan, it feels like we started years ago, and yet it also seems to have flashed by so quickly.

Traveling nearly the entire length of Japan from a balmy Okinawa in the south, to a cool and rainy Hokkaido in the far north, we’re happy to report that we personally sat down with over 1,300 people to share the film, talk, and build new relationships with us, and between audience members themselves.

A post-screening photo opp with our audience at Round Point Cafe in Kobe, Japan.

Our audiences over these past weeks were energetic and inspiring for us to meet; they laughed, cried, shared their personal stories, and perhaps most importantly they forged new relationships with other people in their communities and around Japan. These audiences are the people who make things happen, and their communities are truly the up-and-coming role models for the future how how we can live on this earth.

We stop by to visit Akame Natural Farm, a donation-based school where students from around the world come to learn natural farming.

Interestingly, many people talked about how they thought they were crazy for wanting true social and ecological well-being because it seems like everything our modern society is based on goes against social and ecological well-being. These individuals quickly found however, that sitting around them were many many people who want the same thing and are willing to work together to make a more beautiful world a reality.

We have to admit, it’s frightening when a person realizes that they no longer believe in the validity of the aims and virtues of the status quo. It’s frightening to jump into a completely new way of thinking about things like food, money, work, society, and our relationships with each other and with this earth. But it’s much easier to confront this fear when those around you have similar mindsets and are willing to take actions with you.

Audiences share experiences at the Final Straw screening at Tsurukame in Takamatsu, Japan

We believe that resilient and active communities built on foundations of social and ecological well-being are critical to our future as a people, and with the tour and our ongoing creative community building work, we are doing our part to help build these new foundations.

Children playing while their parents watch Final Straw screening in Niigata, Japan.

For the next month, Suhee and Patrick will be in Fife, Scotland at Sea Loft as part of the Robert Callender International Residency for Young Artists. We are looking forward to build on these experiences in Japan, developing our community-based arts and ecology practice with partners from Sea Loft, Lateral Lab, the Center for Stewardship and Art Space & Nature MFA programme at University of Edinburgh.

In September we return to Japan to undertake a new long-term community project with new experiences and knowledge. This next project will merge ecological art, food, and local culture, offering a real-world proof of concept for resilient and creative community building.

For now, thank you everyone, friends, family, organizers, hosts, technicians, audiences, chefs, massage therapists, academics, government officials, coffee roasters, milk farmers, and everyone else for every role played in this tour.

Finally, thank you Kaori Tsuji, our producer and tour manager for making this tour come to life!

Suhee, Kaori, and Patrick talk to an audience at Minna Nouen Urban Farm in Osaka, Japan

We’re now five years into this project, and it feels like we’re just getting warmed up… let’s go!!! More inspiring posts about our adventures and what we’ve learned from audiences in Japan are coming over the next month.

For now please enjoy some images from the tour…

1 thought on “Japan Tour: from Okinawa to Hokkaido”

  1. Pingback: End of Winter Update (2017) | Patrick M. Lydon

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