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Manyoshu - Ten Thousand Leaves

Video installation



This work was made in the Korzo 5Hoog Theater which is temporary open in KPN building while the theater is renovated. For the Japanese music and dance event, the 8 video projections were installed into 8 doors in the corridor between the foyer and the theater space. The acreens were made of Japanese Shoji paper (Awagami).

The video content was the combination of Japanese haiku poems from Manyoshu, especially 10 poems are chosen for Spring and a Japanese staincil dying pattern paper which is call Katagami.

Concept, Video : Yoko Seyama
Translation : Ibuki Hiruta /
                    in reference to the Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai and the kadokawa shoten
Voice : Liam Evans, Meira Asher
Music : Dirk Haubrich

for M.I.J.N. Festival in Korzo5HOOG Theater in Den Haag NL, Premiere 8 May2008


is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, from 686 to 784 AD contains about 4.500 poems. There were plenty of topics which poets could use these devices, Many topics are about love. They also considered nature, plants, and animals sometimes as metaphor of emotions, such as sadness, happiness, and loneliness.
Under the limited use of syllables (5-7-5-7-7 patterns) which was the rule of Tanka poems (Haiku is later style, 5-7-5 patterns), Poets made a combination of words from nature which presents such a rich imaginative scenery.

Manyo' can translate to “Ten thousand Leaves”, or “Myriad of Leaves” or “Myriad of Ages” . This gave me an imagination of 'Myriad of words are flying over the world and ages' I believe that thare are sharing parts in the poems by us, people of today.

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