METHOD NO. 24  (JULY 1, 2003)

Email-Bulletin "METHOD" is a free monthly on "Method Painting, Method 
Poem, Method Music (Methodicist Manifesto)."  Publishers are three 
Japanese artists, Hideki Nakazawa, a (visual) artist, Shigeru Matsui, a 
poet, and Masahiro Miwa, a composer.  You can read the manifestos of 
Methodicism at

This issue, METHOD NO. 24, carries a text by Masahiro Miwa and a web 
piece by Hideki Nakazawa, and word and info by the three Methodicists.


Matarisama-Dolls And The Cult of Istamia
by Masahiro Miwa, composer

      The remote Matari Valley, known for its strange "matarisama" 
custom, is home to the Matara Myojin shrine.  Though this shrine is 
dedicated to the god Matara, protector of Sarugaku*, the actual object 
of worship is the saint Istamia (sometimes referred to as Isidanomiya), 
who is said to have saved the valley from peril by relaying a message 
from the gods to the villagers.  Only the highest-ranking priests are 
allowed in the holy perimeter surrounding Istamia's shrine.  The reason 
for this is that eight gods are said to carry out an endless heavenly 
"matarisama" in this hall.  No one has ever seen these gods, however, 
day and night, the echo of this perfect "matarisama" could be heard by 
all outside the shrine.  The people of Matari Valley, from the earliest 
age, lived alongside "Istamia's matarisama" and when the autumn festival 
came, following the rules of "suzukake," they performed their own 
"matarisama" for the gods.
      To perform the "matarisama" of Istamia's shrine without pause or 
error was seen as something only possible for gods.  At the same time as 
being seen as proof of the existence of an orderly spiritual world, this 
"matarisama" was believed to clean the suffering of the material world.  
It was a symbol of the truth and beauty of the universe that endured 
beyond generations.  In other words, "matarisama" and the rules of 
"suzukake" were in themselves a message from ancient times, a proof of 
the existence of the gods, a testament for the ear.
      In recent years, the people of Matari Valley suddenly committed 
mass suicide in Matara Myojin shrine; not a single survivor was found in 
this shocking drama.  "New era," "the words of Istamia," etc. strange 
inscriptions were found scribbled at the scene but the reason for this 
tragedy remains a mystery.  It is only after these sordid events that 
the interior of Istamia's shrine came to be seen.  Inside, eight 
identical devices were arranged in a circle, moving in an orderly 
fashion.  Using water flowing from a nearby mountain these primitive 
mechanical dolls were carrying out the same rules of "suzukake" that the 
villagers had been using for their "matarisama."  These eight dolls, in 
modern words, can be seen as XOR logical computation devices with a 1-
bit memory.  This shows that the ancient people of Matari Valley, who of 
course could not have known of the computer, understood that symbolic 
thought processes like memory and calculation could also be carried out 
by machines.
      A demonstration of this understanding is the existence of a koan**, 
or starting state, that was strictly reserved for the "Istamia 
matarisama," in other words limited for divine usage.  This starting 
state (that is, a given combination of bell and castanet states) is 
known as the "Stellar Alignment ('Hoshiai' in Japanese) Koan."  This is 
the only pattern in an eight-person "matarisama" that repeats after only 
three cycles.  While the "Stellar Alignment Koan" repeats in only 24 
steps (3 X 8), all other patterns repeat every 63 cycles (504 steps), 
with the exception of every player in bell mode, which causes a single-
cycle loop.  Even though there are 254 possible starting arrangements 
that produce 63-cycle loops, there are only four 63-cycle patterns 
(4 X 63 = 254).  During the autumn festival, "matarisama" was always 
performed using one of those four patterns, which shows that the 
ancients understood the mathematical implications of the "suzukake" 
*Sarugaku: Traditional Japanese theatrical form, predecessor to Noh.
**Koan: Usually used to refer to a type of Zen riddle, but here 
describes the starting arrangements of Matarisama. 
(Cf.) About the "Matarisama-Doll" carried as the web-piece of "METHOD NO. 
23," please see:
About the "Matarisama" carried as the web-piece of "METHOD NO. 14," 
please see:
(New: Comments in English!)


Sentence No. 1 Which Consists of 903 Palindromic Coined Words
by Hideki Nakazawa, artist
This piece was shown at the ISCP open studio exhibition held in May.  I 
installed it in the size of 103 by 51.5 inches directly on the wall 
using cutting sheets.  However, I consider text data itself is my art 
work.  Thus the installation at the exhibition was just one of possible 
ways to exhibit.  I can print it in a different size on paper, or, I can 
show it as a pdf file on the monitor of computers.  I am just doing that 
here on the website.  In addition, you can also read how to make this 
piece, and can see photos of the exhibition, and can listen to a sound 
file read aloud, from the links in the above url.


Hideki Nakazawa, artist:
- This July is the last month of my participation in the program of ISCP.  
Those who have not seen my installation works yet are welcome to visit 
to my studio.  Appointment needed.  See the above web-piece of mine also.
- METHOD NIGHT VOL. 7 presented by Hideki Nakazawa
"Talk Battle with Barbara Pollack"
Begins at 7 pm on Wed., July 16 at 323 W 39th, Studio 610 at ISCP, NYC.
... After a brief slide show of his works, Hideki Nakazawa will debate 
with Barbara Pollack, a critic writing regularly for "ARTnews," "Art in 
America," "the Village Voice," as well as creating her own art projects.  
Last month, she visited Nakazawa's studio, where the critic and the 
artist had a closed-door "talk battle."  This will be the second "talk 
battle" between Pollack and Nakazawa, but the first which will be open 
to the public.  Those who attend will be paid $3 each, as their 
participation itself may be a part of Nakazawa's work.  
- My piece which won the premium prize at VOCA exhibition, "41193 Yen 
Which Consists of 19235 Coins (Money Amount No. 24)," is now being shown 
through July 18 as a collection at Dai-ichi Seimei Gallery, Tokyo.

Shigeru Matsui, poet:
- I participated in "marathon READING 2003" on June 28.  I sat on a 
chair on the stage turning my back to audience.  "Pure Poem -arranged 
for serial-" which had been recorded by Reisiu Sakai was replayed.  The 
audience and I listened to it.  That is, I did nothing.
I wanted to clarify that reading was to experience poetry through a 
realized text.  Poetry reading is not an entertainment.  It should be a 
performance that stimulates audience to understand a work.
- Performance "The Crossing of Reading" on July 20, 2003 (Tokyo)
Gallery (1F) of Tokyo Community College, Kinki University International 
Center for Human Sciences
Reservation needed (70 seats): 03-3351-0591

Masahiro Miwa, composer:
- "Bolero by Muramatsu Gear-Engine," my first work for orchestra was 
performed up to the end of the piece by Cairo Symphony Orchestra, even 
though there was a lot of confusion and happenings.  In any case, I 
enjoyed the beautiful days in Egypt!
- 7/12 I will give the first presentation of the workshop called "Let's 
invent a new folk entertainment!" at Sendai Mediatheque.  This workshop 
will continue up to the final presentation on January of the next year. 
Please visit the website of the workshop! (only in Japanese)

Group "METHOD":
- Those who want to work with us will be invited from any positions such 
as advisors, assistants, brains, critics, doll-makers, editors, managers, 
observers, patrons, performers, photographers, planners, publishers, 
programmers, promoters, sponsors, theorists, translators, volunteers...


The next issue, NO. 25, will be published on August 1, carrying a text 
by Hideki Nakazawa and a web piece by Shigeru Matsui.  There are two 
versions of this bulletin; one is only in English which you are reading 
right now, the other is accompanied by Japanese translation which we can 
send you at your request.  To read the back numbers, visit the above URL 
of "METHOD."  To subscribe or unsubscribe to this bulletin, email any of 
us at the above email addresses.  You can send on this bulletin to 
others freely, but corruption and appropriation are prohibited.

Monthly Email-Bulletin METHOD NO. 24 published on July 1, 2003
(C) Hideki Nakazawa, Shigeru Matsui, Masahiro Miwa, 2003