Yamayama・Kurukuru – A tale of Kamiyama

Yamayama kurkuru was produced during Kamiyama Artist in Residence (Kair) 2013. It was exhibited at Myozai Sake factory in November 2013

Video installation



 ‘’You have to take a deep breath, right to the bottom then hold it in to make your stomach really hard, then you sing!’’

Toyo, who is 90 years old, repeated it many times as she sang a song called ‘Amagoi Odori (rain dance)’, leading the song with a long wooden staff in her hand. She is getting forgetful with age, but she never forgot this song.

Amagoi Odori is a farmers’s dance, an earnest wish for bringing rain. When the drought was worst, farmers gathered in the garden of a shrine with rain‐coats and hats made of straw, on such a hot day! They danced, hitting a gong and drum, banging rhythms on the ground with wooden staffs with flags attached to make their wish.


They offered the dance to the local deity, the rain making waterfall and Kumosou- mountain.   ‘’It always started raining when we got down from Kumosou-mountain. ‘’She said.

1942was the last time that a local group of 6 performersoffered the dance.

Now only Toyo is still able to sing the precious song. She tried to stand up from her bed and sing the song until satisfied with her voice and that her breath was strong enough.


Ton ton Ton ton Ton toko ton

Ton ton Ton ton Ton toko ton


I could understand from hearing her strong voice how tough it is to live with nature.


There’s an old man, who is nearly 80 years old, produces Umeboshi (sour plum), he lives on top of the mountain, just behind where Toyo lives. He makes about 50 big barrels every year.

He is bent double with age, but when he stands in front of his Umeboshi drying table, his form fits perfectly. He picks up and places pickled plums one by one on the table. After drying 3 days in the sun, he turns them very carefully, while picking out the stalks with a tooth pick. Turning Umeboshi together with his grand daughter


Kuru kuru Kuru kuru Ku-ru kuru

Kuru kuru Kuru kuru Ku-ru kuru


He places them into a purplish pink Shiso juice, lets them sit for a year, then the Umeboshi are ready.

He says he is most happy when his Umeboshi are sold out!

And another year begins for him

– Here you can see the process of work in Kamiyama



Kamiyama dinner party  Video installation 2013


Yamayama Kurukuru Installation image Drawing on indigo and Kakishibu dyed textile



Drawings from Yamayama Kurukuru

ume tree 3-original.s


ume tree 2