Aligatou gozaimasu

Video 10 min.

Arigatou gozaimasu The project consists of five screenshots and of ONU. Arigatou gozaimasu, “thank you” in Japanese, deserves its name given its formal reliability. Japan provokes me such fascination and curiosity – specially everything that has to do with Geishas, Maikos and Oirans – that I decided to travel there with my daughter Adriana, to whom I thank for her patience and for being my accomplice in this project. After long hours of waiting I was able to catch a glimpse of one of these mysterious women leaving a tea house or swiftly crossing one of those narrow streets in Gion, Kyoto. It was precisely there, in Gion, where I decided I had to transmit what I was seeing. The faces of the young Maikos, always accompanied by older women made an impact on me; I had the feeling that beneath those make-up masks they hid a deep melancholy. Arigatou gozaimasu not only reminds us that beauty is ephemeral but it also forces us to reflect on the role of Maikos and Geishas in Japan nowadays. Escort ladies? Japan proves to be a country full of contradictions: it can be extremely elegant and refined while at the same time cruel and sexist. Its beautiful erotic drawings Shunga date back to the Edo era but weren’t published up until 1907 and which were banned by the Japanese Penal Code in the end. Let us cite even if it is in solitary, one of the most controversial living artists in Japan. To some, a sexist artist, to others, a genius: the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. A country where medieval coexists with the highest and most advanced forms of technology and where the common good prevails over individuality. I would like to apologize in case my occidental point of view has offended any of the attendants. Rosa Brugat

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