Reading articles about Japanese Film Directors and these relation to western film and Japanese society.
Day before yesterday went to Shinjuka after meeting with Ulia, a relative of one of Natasha’s students. Shinshuka is about ten stops up from us on the Maronouchi Line. She took us there and showed us where there was a good book shop for foreigners. There we bought several books for studying Japanese and I bought some books about Basho. Just looking at the characters and learning about them is fascinating. One thing I noticed, the character for madness or lunacy is a combination of the character for a king and a dog. This is to imply the the king is a mad dog. It reminded me of the mad king in Shakespeare’s Lear and led me to wonder if there is some common archetype at work as it seems that Shakespeare was unlikely to know Japanese. I am struck by how pictorial these characters are. I knew this already but when you actually start to study them there are all kinds of echos and resonances which require a great deal of thought.
The day before yesterday we returned to Shinjuku again and I spent most of the day filming in and around the area. Got some more material which hopefully will be useful. Night stuff especially good. I tried to find DVDs of the Japanese director Teinosuke Kinugasa who made the film “A page of Madness which is considered one of the early masterpieces of Japanese avant-garde cinema. It hasn’t been released on DVD, in fact none of his films have been released on DVD. Fist one will be in April 2008. Yesterday we went to a new office tower complex by the river. It also would be a good place to film. Natasha was there for and Ikebana demonstration. We’re both very tired so we are taking a day off today and just resting. We wont do much and just get ready for tomorrow – visit to Kamakura, temple complex just outside Tokyo.