Extracts of Makabe Jin and Ogawa Pro
“Passes are places of decision.
The familiar melancholy of parting drifts at passes.
Squeezing the mountain road
The ridges loom over your exposed body
And before long you put them behind you.
Two views are woven together.
Without losing one world,
You cannot enter the other, separate one.
Only by enduring a great loss
does a new world unfold.
When standing on a pass
the path you’ve passed us a charming memory
and the path unfolding below is pleasing.
Paths do not answer.
Paths do nothing but invite.
The sky above the pass is as sweet as a dream.
Even if you know the route
you must abandon one world.
To hide such feelings
the traveller stops to pee
pick some flowers
enjoy a cigarette
and take in the view as far as the eye can see.”
– “A Mountain Pass”, Makabe Jin
While protesting in Sanrizuka, student-activist Higashiyama Kaoru was shot in the head with a tear gas canister at the hands of a riot police officer. He died shortly after the fact. Kaoru is pictured below.
“When Kaoru was born the leaves were green and the sky was serene. Today is the same kind of day, with serene skies and full of green. That sky sees many tragedies in the world of the humans. A heart as broad and pure as the sky is the finest tribute to my son.”
– Higashiyama Kaoru’s father, from Sanrizuka – Satsuki no sora sato no kayoji
“Humans are amazing, no?
Trees and flowers and beasts in the snow
They can’t live properly.
The time when words are abandoned is coming.”
– Post-screening report card from a 26-year-old woman from Tokyo, re: Nippon-koku: Furuyashiki-mura
“Will I support you? If all this means is screening films, then I’m against you. Basically, it’s the problem of peddling humanism. If we can’t provoke revolution, then making films that inspire sympathy is nonsense. The beginnings of struggle may start with sympathy (as long as it does not befall oneself). However, does not one need an after-film discussion that makes this sympathy your own problem?”
– Survey written by a worker from the Nakano Ward Office after a screening of Nihon Kaiho sensen: Sanrizuka no natsu
“After one of his publications, a coal worker broke into the Ueno’s home. He approached the author with a knife, plunging it into the floor and demanded to know why Ueno wrote what he did. Ueno defended his work rather than running away. In documentary, one must bet one’s life. Ueno once wrote: “Don’t be frugal with money; don’t be frugal with time; don’t be frugal with life.” Only Ueno Hidenobu could do this. Ogawa Shinsuke didn’t have the guts.”
– Honma Shusuke (former member of Ogawa Pro) on author Ueno Hidenobu
(all extracts taken from Abé Markus Nornes‘ Forest of Pressure)
Makabe Jin in Toge – Zao to Makabe Jin