To Nirvana and Back. Photo Album: Real Lear in Echigo-Tsumari

Christian Bastiaans


Softcover | First edition | 216 pages

Published by Gendaikikakushitsu, 2004.

Taking inspiration from one of the four great tragedies by Willian Shakespeare, the performance of The Real Lear in Echigo-Tsumari was an unrepeatable theatre piece played by ten local people in their seventies to nineties. It was presented to celebrate the launch of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2003 as well as to open the Nobutai Snow-land Agrarian Culture Center Matsudai (“Matsudai Nohbutai”). Christiaan Bastiaans, who wrote and directed the play, created this piece by overlaying Shakespeare’s play with the life of local people in satoyama.

Echigo-Tsumari is a greying society. Many elderly people are left behind while young people move away to the big cities. How do elderly people deal with such a drastic change in society, such as the farmers who are still working the rice fields? After they pass away, nobody will take care of the rice fields anymore. He realized that he could juxtapose the themes of the King Lear drama with the lives of the eldery people of Echigo-Tsumari. 

All photographs throughout the book are taken by Daido Moriyama which include images from the stage performance and landscapes of Satoyama. 

Condition: Good