El Japonés

2016   Made in Coria del Río, Sevilla, Spain

 

Work format:  double sided video installation (Dimension variable)

  

Materials:  Projector, translucent screen, wood block

 

 

Below: El Japóns unsubtitled version

Introduction:

 

In Spain, there is a town inhabited by people with the surname Japón, which means Japan in Spanish.

400 years ago a group of Samurai traveled to Europe for some missions.

During their journey, Christianity was prohibited in Japan and some of the Samurais decided to remain to live in Spain to live as Christian. Those named Japón in the Spanish town today are regarded as possible descendants of the Samurai from history.

 

The work EL JAPONÉS aligns the artist himself as a “Japanese person who just came from Japan” and Mrs. Japón as a “descendant of historically the first migrant from Japan”. 

The dialog itself looks like a simple praise of communication but the two juxtaposed "Japanese" people imply and ask different notions such as "nationality", "race" and "immigrant integration". 

Special thanks: Mr. and Ms. Japóns whom I met in Coria del Rio

 

 

 

Tsunenaga Hasekura 

1571–1622

Below: El Japóns Subtitled version

Supported by:

Fellowship of Overseas Program, Bunkacho /Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan

© Qenji Yoshida 2019