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Taichi Nakamura

(Japan, 1982)

I was born in 1982, the first half of the 80's, when Japan's rapid economic growth was accelerating and the country was about to enter the bubble economy. Japan's economy was about to enter its longest period ever. The redevelopment of major cities became more active, and there was a boom in mass consumption not only among corporations and the wealthy, but also among the general public. I was born as the eldest son of a kimono shop owner. My mother, who had worked as a teacher, retired after I was born and started working with my father at the kimono shop. From a child's point of view, business seemed to be going well and the drapery shop was always crowded. Whenever I took delivery for lunch at the store, there was always a lavish meal on the table. The TV programs I watched at that time were sponsored by a large number of sponsors, and they broadcasted a variety of special programs. I remember that many of the trendy dramas depicted love stories of young businessmen working in the big city, or success stories of getting into a good university and working for a good company. Even as a child, I could feel the atmosphere of the time, like the glittering summer sun of the bubble era. I loved to draw, and when I drew pictures in the store, customers praised me so much that I got carried away. I was a child who loved to draw pictures, make dinosaurs out of clay, and create things. In the mid-80s, Japan entered the peak of the bubble economy. In the midst of all this, I remember the Chernobyl nuclear accident on the CRT. It was said that radiation would rain down on Japan as well. In the midst of the glittering society of that time, I felt a strong sense of fear, even though it was an event in a distant foreign country. Perhaps because of this, my mother took my sister and I to several anti-nuclear demonstrations and rallies after that. She also began to take my siblings and me to self-sufficiency groups and communities.

I think it was around this time that we started to eat mainly organic vegetables and foods without chemical seasonings. My siblings and I did not go to such a place by our own will, so I think we were at a loss at first. As children, we felt strange about the existence of an unrealistic community in a glittering corner of society, and I think we had a certain amount of fear. I think my experiences at that time influenced my way of thinking in no small way. I think it was around this time that I first became aware of my inner and outer selves. The smallest unit of society is the family, and I wondered where the boundaries between my parents and myself, my sister and myself were drawn, and where my own frame of reference was completed. Japan has become very affluent and has become the second largest economy in the world. In the variety shows, famous comedians were giving flashy performances. In the midst of all this, a special place was the community of self-sufficiency groups and anti-nuclear protesters, and I was not flattered to feel comfortable there. At the end of the Showa era (1926-1989), the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War, came down in Germany and East Germany disappeared. The Cold War between East and West came to an end. Then in 1990, the first war I saw through a CRT was the Gulf War. The blue light of the Scud missiles drew lines in the night sky. I remember the scene well, watching the news with my parents. The U.S. intervention in the Middle East was in full swing and the world was becoming more and more U.S.-centric. Where I am now, there is abundance and abundance of things, but across the ocean, something sad is happening. I used to think that we were blessed.