Friday, March 23, 2007

The Heaven Artist

The Heaven Artist is an "official recognition system" of street performer founded by governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, in 2002. It is part of his Tokyo art town plan, and the "license holder" is also called Heaven Artist. The purpose of the system is to promote and foster the high-quality street performer who provides the amusement to the citizen. The model of this is from France. The license is issued to the artist who passes in the audition by the cultural bureau of Tokyo, and only who acquires the license is permitted to perform in a specified places in Tokyo.
The name "Heaven Artist", I suppose, came from historical background of Tokyo street performers. There was huge movement in 1980's in Harajuku, the road used to be pedestrians' paradise(vehicle-free promenade) every Sunday, gathered so many artists, dancers, musicians, and all types of performers. This pedestrians' paradise was called Hokousha-Tengoku(Hoko-Ten). Tengoku means both paradise and heaven.. yes.. Japanglish. Tengoku Artists in 21st century is the heaven artist.
What I most like about the street performance is its high degree of freedom. On the street, we can walk around and enjoy the various views, come and go anytime you needed to. Moreover, we could enjoy the expressions from both the performer and its audience.., generally, hard to see both if we were in the seat. . ;-)

see other photos

photos taken by (C)mkyg

These photos were taken in Akihabara, but you can also find them other places in Tokyo. eg. Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Yoyogi, Hibiya, Odaiba, Akasaka, Shibuya, etc. The schedules are found in the following URL.. sorry written in Japanese only for now..
"Tokyo Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs"


davide said...

Haha I have a photblog on Blogger too :P

Can I link your blog on mine?

Ciao ciao

mkyg said...

My pleasure, Davide :)
I like your photos on black in your page.. incredible as ever!
Ciao ciao