Hackerfarm Residency Prep

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architecture, art, bamboo, beauty, design, digitalnomad, entrepreneur, female, forest, freelance, hacker, japan, language, learning, maker, meditation, mind, nature, peace, research, shinto, travel, Uncategorized, zen

I can’t believe it, only 5 weeks left until I leave Japan. Or rather I don’t want to believe it. It will be almost two years to the day when I leave, but I am certainly leaving wanting more, which perhaps is the best way. I’m returning to the UK to finally complete my masters at the RCA, something I’ve been wanting to do for many years.

Having just finished my time working with Kengo Kuma Associates, the architectural practise responsible for the Olympic Stadium, I am now beginning the last stage of my summer, a one month residency with Hackerfarm in Chiba. During this time I will be building an interactive design sculpture, attempting to solidify my many years of research into an object that will embody my feelings about nature, sustainability and how a ‘religious environmentalist paradigm’ as called by Poul Pedersen, may offer a path to a balanced future between our species and our environment.

To begin my time I am doing some revision on Shinto and traditional Japanese attitudes to the natural world. I have been heavily influenced by these things for many years, and enjoyed much qualitative knowledge through visiting temples and taking part in activities like tea ceremony, purification ceremonies and meditation. I have also read and attended talks, and today I want to collect some quotations and information for my own reference later when I will be writing a design statement to accompany the work I create at Hackerfarm.

“Shinto is a religion of nature conservation”

Wang Shou Hua

“The explicit association between Japanese religion and environmental issues was first made in the United States in the 1960s and 70s”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p176

“Shinto, or the way of the Gods, is the name of the oldest religious belief for the Japanese people. The belief itself indefinitely antedates its name…it knew no christening till Buddhism was adopted from China in the sixth century”

Percival Lowell, Occult Japan, p16

“there is no basic difference in the ideas that favour science at the expense of Shinto”

Kennikat, The Meaning of Shinto, p65

“The reinterpretation of religious traditions and doctrines in the light of contemporary environmentalism”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p17

“the notion of Shinto as an ancient tradition of nature worship containing important solutions for overcoming todays environmental problems”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p18

“Shinto’s reconceptualisation as an ecologically sustainable tradition of nature worship”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p19

“it is important to realise that there are alternative ways of conceptualising ‘nature’, ‘the environment’ and ‘environmental problems’ that do not always correspond to dominant scientific paradigms, yet can exercise profound significance on ways in which people co-exsist with their surroundings”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p26

“Human and nature are said to be interconnected, existing in a state of mutual dependance and co-existence”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p156

“…when people go into nature and reach tranquillity of mind; when they feel a sense of fulfilment of life. I think this is the fundamental reason why they have always had the the feeling that they wanted to take good care of nature. But I think the biggest problem we are facing now is that, as “Western thought and the wave of modernisation has rapidly made us think of convenience only, we have lost this awareness”

Ueda Kenji

“Japan, it is argued, is the only country where an ancient nature religion has survived as a central part of contemporary society”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p153

“This is the Shinto I wish you to find – the Shinto whose true characteristics are caught rather then taught”

Stuart Picken

“Shinto is an ‘intuitive religion’, the essence of which can only be known through spiritual experience”

Aike P. Rots, Forest of the Gods, p153

“From 30 years of study into Shinto and of respect for its divinities I am convinced that it can guide us to a new way of looking at the world around us. It can remind us there is a holy dimension in natural objects”

Carmen Blacker, 1994

chinju no mori – sacred shrine forest

shide – hanging paper streamers

gohei – a number of shide attached to a stick

yorishiro – a place for the kami to descend

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