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Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan is the setting for The Legends of Tono (Tono monogatari), a unique collection of regional folk tales, gathered in the early 20th Century by Yanagita Kunio. The tales manifest and explain invisible forces and malevolent events which shape the psycho-cultural dimensions of Japanese indigenous beliefs and folk faith.
Inspired by The Legends of Tono, HORSE/KAPPA/HOUSE, records the surrounding landscape in a number of small villages throughout Iwante Prefecture in order to create a cinematic space which echoes by implication and association, the external and unseen world in the environment.(A.R.)

□ "Horse/Kappa/House"
1995, 33min., 16mm, sound

Funded by the Hoso Bunka Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and a Filmmaking Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

□ "Afterthoughts on a Legend"
2002, 10min., 16,, silent

A response to the inklings that resonate ten years after a trip to Iwate Prefecture, Japan



"Absorbing Film"
by Minato Chihiro (Photographer/Professor of Tama Art University)

Even after the film was finished and the screen was dark, I felt like I wanted to immerse myself in a period of nursery rhymes. It was almost as if a light had entered into my body, and a variety of scenes were reflected there.

I wondered how long had passed? It felt like no time at all, but it also felt like an eternity. It was distant, it was near.
I saw clouds pass by sun-dappled trees, and sky the color of ice. Time became strange: a day became a minute, and a second stretched out forever. This feeling must somehow be related to the way time behaves in "once upon a time" kinds of stories.

All kinds of things in our environment inhabits that kind of "time". Spiders, stone buddhas, and even puddles are there. Even the phenomenon that we normally call a spirit, using techniques that are only possible through this kind of film, showed itself. Using very delicate technique, the film captured the instant of existence of the god/spirit. That was remarkable. And the fact that I was able to absorb it with my own eyes through this film was a first for me.

Price: 8,400.-Japanese Yen (including taxes) 
31,500.-Japanese Yen (including taxes) Institutional use