Studio Kura Japan

24th November 2016

Studio Kura 

Summer is slowly ending over Studio Kura which is located in the south of Japan in Fukoaka.  It’s still warm here – around 20 to 22 degrees – while the days are short and get dark by 6PM.  I have settled into a small  a routine that consists of training around 10am when the day is at its warmest. I train outdoors and what a pleasure to be able to do so! Before reaching the island, I was a little bit worry as the studio is not used to welcome physical performers, but with a bit of research and luck I found the perfect place to conduct my research. It takes just 5 minutes cycling to reach a little shrine with a wooden floor perfect for my practice. It’s totally unused for artistic activities, but if you show respect for the place and its surroundings, nobody will frown upon you using it.
Practicing in any temple and shrine in Japan is acceptable from the moment you blend into it. The people here do not worry so much about what you do, as long as you master the skill of invisibility. This is a notion I learnt here. Just be polite, refrain making any useless noise and do not disturb the people around you. This way, any place could become your playground.  That must be the secret of the quietness of Japan where you hardly hear conversations in the background, no matter where and when you are.
Let’s go back for a moment to my little piece of shrine. Here I trained the sword work mixed with a flying technique that I previously used with the magic flying cane. Off course a lot of adjustments are required. In some other word: I have a flying sword! It took me a while to get used to it, but here I can feel that I am finding my rhythm, the harmony within the body and the object. I think that soon enough it will fully become an extension of my own body. It just feel like being in one of these  old Asian movie. Me, My shrine, My sword. Roll the credits!
 Every day I trained for about 3 hours in order not too push too much my body as my shoulder take a huge burden with the weight of the sword. I can feel my body getting tense. But in the other hand it also getting stronger and I feel that I can connect with the prop and reach a breakthrough momentum. It’s just a matter of time.
 To take care of my sore shoulder, I bath in a hot spring (called onsen) just around the corner, so I go there as often as I can. This bliss moment became the best part of this residency by far.
Onsen are very popular in japan and you meet all sort of people. On my first day I was bathing next to a sumo wrestler.  Japanese people like to be clean, really really clean. By all sort of standard they probably the cleanest people I have ever met.  Anywhere you go it’s very clean, there is no litter, no garbage. It never smells odd even in the busiest subways or in rural train or bus stations. It seems that everyone carries handkerchief with them and perfectly ironed clothes. They are just super clean.There is no half way. It’s just as well another part of their blending attitude with many others that makes this country very different.
I went for a small trip from south to north so in my next blog I will tell you all about it.
Thanks for reading…
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