Day #1. Notes from the future. My Japan diary November 12-24, 2015

I arrived yesterday to one of my all time favorite countries in the world, Japan. I come yearly for my round of trunk shows with Strasburgo stores.  I landed in Tokyo a day early so that I could get my bearings and adjust to the time change. Yoga, including tons of head stands resets my circadian rhythm and I sleep twelve hours straight.  I awake bright eyed and bushy tailed to my first day off in weeks.  Those that know me well, understand that a day off most often doesn’t mean a day off at all.  I start off my day with 4 hours of video editing for the upcoming Numinous campaign film. Next, I head out to Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo to view the exhibit of Frank Ghery’s architectural models for the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. It’s that magnificent building located in the Bois de Boulonges.  I am inspired by the innovation it took to build the structure and make a note to visit as soon as I get to Paris.

Tokyo is possibly the cleanest and most refined city in the world, and I notice that when I’m here, I move more gracefully.  I am always impressed by the impeccable manners of the Japanese people, Japan is my heaven!

Next stop, the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills to view the Takashi Murakami 500 Arhats exhibit. More on that later, but first I need a coffee break. I sit down to have coffee and finally begin reading Anne Tammel’s Paper Angels (which I purchased weeks ago), while listening to Phillip Glass’ Quartet No. 3 “Mishima” my current musical obsession.  I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Tammel a few years ago at an intimate dinner for Joan Didion hosted by my dear friend Stephanie Lacava and her husband Bryan Weiss.  When reading one of the poems by the same title I began to have flash backs of 9/11 and her words brought back the memories but this time with beauty and grace replacing the terror I experienced that day.  I witnessed the second plane hit the tower and my life changed forever. Because of that experience and the healing that had to take place, I have learned to live without fear.  Reading Anne’s beautiful poem helped lay new memory tracks in my brain. 

Takashi Murakami’s 500 Arhats the Japan Times wrote: “For this exhibition, he makes postwar Japan the main theme as he brings together the country’s otaku culture (anime, manga, and more) with traditional Japanese art. His 2012 work “The 500 Arhats,” considered to be the largest painting in history (about 100 meters wide), is being shown in Japan for the first time and was originally produced as a way for Murakami to thank Qatar for providing aid to Japan soon after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.”

I was moved and inspired by the scale, intensity, and passion of this work.  It’s a must see!  

Until tomorrow,

Simon, xs

All images by Simon Alcantara