Documentation Video (on Vimeo)
A trial in a village in Mali (on Vimeo)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs secret leakage case (on Vimeo)
“Justice” is a video installation consisting of two videos. One is a reenactment drama of the “Nishiyama Incident,” which occurred in Japan in the 1970s, and the other is the scene of a trial by a shaman in a rural village of the Republic of Mali in West Africa. The times and places of these two stories are very different, but they share a common subject.
I have been very interested in the Nishiyama Incident, which has frequently been quoted in the discussion of the recent ” Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets” bill in Japan. The main reference was Ms. Sawachi Hisae’s Secret Agreement” and Ms. Toyoko Yamasaki’s “Fated Person.” To find out more, I gathered as many newspaper and weekly magazine articles of that time as I could.
When the control of Okinawa reverted to Japan in 1972, an allegation was made that the Japanese government paid for the restoration costs of the Okinawa base, which the United States officially claimed to have paid. The Mainichi newspaper journalist Takichi Nishiyama who leaked this confidential information to a Diet member, and Keiko Hasumi, a secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who leaked the information to Nishiyama, were convicted of violating the National Public Service Act.
Nishiyama and The Mainichi fought against the Sato Cabinet by asserting “the right to know,” but this incident, which should have been about whether Japanese citizens had been deceived, was cleverly re-focused onto the propriety of the actions of Nishiyama and Hasumi, and as a result, it was reduced to a gossip story. Nishiyama was found guilty at Tokyo High Court and the judgment was confirmed at the Supreme Court. After examining this incident, I considered the judgment unjust and wondered what had happened to the citizens right to know. I remain concerned that this right is being overlooked even now.
On the other hand, while visiting Kenya in 2015, I saw a video of a trial conducted by a shaman in the Senufo community in Kadiolo in the Republic of Mali, taken by Mr. Daisuke Mizoguchi, a cultural anthropologist I met in Nairobi. In that video, I saw an irrational “judgment” of a different dimension from the Nishiyama case. Deeply influenced by modern values, I found the incident profoundly shocking.
The trial begins with a scene in which around 30 residents are sitting in a circle, which is about 10 meters in diameter, in a village square. At the beginning, the shaman listens to the story of the victim claiming that his money had been stolen. Next, he tells the suspect to sit down in a half-sitting position. Then, the shaman stands behind the suspect, holding branches of a tree about 1 meter in length with both hands and pinching the suspect’s neck with them from both sides and pulling them. If the suspect falls to the ground, he is judged guilty. I suspected that the case was arbitrarily decided by the shaman by adjusting his force. Mizoguchi said that a suspect found guilty in this way would actually be poisoned and killed. This is not a story from hundreds of years ago, but a recent incident and such cases are still going on.
What is common to these two trials is that the judgment is unjust. However, this injustice can only be explained from a unilateral point of view. The case of the Nishiyama incident is an undoubted result for the government and the case of the shaman’s judgment in Mali the local people, who believe in magic, do not consider the process absurd.
We may take justice for granted, but in fact justice may rely on very fragile values. Is it possible that we have such a strong sense of justice that we can instantly condemn the recent assertions of Islamic fundamentalists in some Muslim countries?
Through this work, I want to examine whether there is such a thing as universal justice. And, if it exists, what kind of justice it is.
Two of Full HD Videos (26 mins.)
two of Full HD Video Projectors
two of BrightSign HD1020
Approximately W4m x D4m x H2.5m
Artists: Yasushi Noguchi, Hideto Miyuki, Daisuke Mizoguchi
Release Date: October 9th, 2016
The Movie about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secret Leakage Case (26 min.)
Project Direction: Yasushi Noguchi
Direction: Hideto Miyuki
Screenplay: Yasushi Noguchi, Hideto Miyuki
Cast: Kaoru Suzuki, Tomoko Tamiya, Koji Nakamura, Junko Matsuda, Kuniko Yamauchi
Camera: Hideto Miyuki, Daisuke Mikome
Film Editing: Hideto Miyuki
Sound Recording: Ryusuke Kashiwabara, Kentaro Tsuda
Assistants: Yohei Shinkai, Hina Nakagame, Kohei Matsumoto
Special Thanks: Kazue Shiino
The Movie about the Trial at the Mali Village (26 min.)
Camera: Daisuke Mizoguchi
Film Editing: Yasushi Noguchi
2017年3月21日 | Filed under social code.