Yamamoto Takayuki & Shōjō Collective
- Formed 2022 in Aichi, Japan.
- Based in Aichi, Japan.
Shōjō is a type of large puppet that makes appearances mainly at the autumn festivals held each year in a particular region in southern Aichi Prefecture. One theory is that the puppet is based on an imaginary animal from China. The puppetʼs head is made of papier-mâché, its body framework is constructed from bamboo strips, and its clothing is made from quilts. When worn by an adult, the total height is about 3m. Shōjō wearers parade through the festival and when children jeer at them, they chase after the children with a stick. The official color of Aichi Triennale 2022 is shōjō-hi (scarlet), said to be the color obtained by dyeing with the blood of the shōjō. This color was believed to bring good luck. The hot-blooded warlords of Japanʼs Sengoku period [from the late 15th to the late 16th century] also favored this color for the coats they wore in battle. In this program, Yamamoto Takayuki, an artist and learning curator of this Triennale took members of the collective to visit temples and shrines where Shōjō are found. The group explored the nature of the Shōjō by listening to what experts have to say about them, and through other experiences in the field. They even learned how to make traditional Shōjō from Kuno Mitsuhiro of the Kasadera Shōjō Preservation Society, and collaborated with the Aichi Childrenʼs Center to make Shōjō with participants in some of the Center's programs, and with elementary and junior high school students gathered at five children's centers in Aichi Prefecture. Over four months beginning in February 2022, they constructed about forty Shōjō puppets.
The Shōjō invites us to step out of the everyday life to which we are accustomed and enter the extraordinary world of the festival. Through this project, we entrust the Shōjō to serve as our guide to the extraordinary realm that is art, and we hope that visitors will feel as at home at the Aichi Triennale as they do at their local seasonal festivals.
- Selected Works & Awards
- Led by full-time artist Yamamoto Takayuki, who will also be involved with Aichi Triennale 2022 as a learning curator, the Shōjō Collective has initiated a project focusing on Shōjō.
Shōjō Research, 2022
- 10:00－18:00 (20:00 on Fridays)
*Last admission 30 min before closing time
- Mondays (except for public holidays)
- Venue / Access
- Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art Gallery (8F)
- 3 minutes on foot from Sakae Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijo Subway Line.
- 3 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.