Written by SACHI MIYACHI
There is a small puddle on a street. One girl, maybe seven years-old girl is opening her eyes wide because the puddle has such an amazing colour that she has never seen before. She is approaching it slowly, step by step.
Each step brings different colours into her eyes, pink, yellow, violet, silver....Also it's changing as she bends down or stretches her back. So she changes her eye level, up and down and right and left. She looks around for other puddles, but she doesn't find another such miracle puddle.
She is wondering what she can do about this discovery.
Suddenly, she starts to run towards her house. She runs as fast as possible,
down a sloping road, passing a supermarket and vegetable field, the quickest possible way.
She enters a condominium apartment, and pushes the button for an elevator.
The elevator is too slow for her.
She regrets taking the elevator even more than usual.
She always promises to herself that she will figure out which is faster, to run up the stairs or to take the elevator.
The elevator opens its doors carefully onto the fifth floor,
she starts running again, whilst pulling a key from her pocket.
She opens the door of house no.503.
nobody is there.
She enters a room.
Her parents are working at this time.
She opens a closet.
Her brothers are playing somewhere.
She picks up one white handkerchief,
and she runs back to the puddle.
She takes a deep breath
because the water is still brilliant and it seems nobody else has found it.
She takes one more deep breath.
And then, she puts her white handkerchief on the puddle carefully.
Her idea is to stain the colour on her handkerchief.
She has one clear image in her mind...
her family and friends would be surprised by her discovery with the handkerchief.
She counts each second, leaving enough time for the handkerchief to soak up enough colours,
and she peals it off carefully...
I was born in Tokyo.
Tokyo holds over twelve and a half million people.
and in two thousand and two hundred square kilo maters.
I was grown up in a part of Tokyo called Nishiki.
Nishiki means "brocade" like a rich silk fabric with a colourful raised pattern.
At least 100 years ago, a lot of farmers were growing silkworms and making silk threads in this area.
So, its name is from history.
A view of the town was exactly as its name suggests,
traditional houses, a temple and a shrine.
If walk up around a river, it could be see a small pond with the spring water coming out.
I found golden particles in this pond which I had believed it's real gold for a long time. From my balcony on the fifth floor, I could see Mt. Fuji in a far distance. I couldn't understand why Mt. Fuji was the biggest mountain in Japan. it was same size as other condominium apartments in the perspective.
And construction work fields for new houses.
This area has been developed extensively since the 1950's to support rapidly expanded demands for housings in and around Tokyo. So I had been running around that area as a sort of explore. Mostly, I was busy to find a special place like dismantled old houses. They started to surround fences or half transparent nets around the house.
It fueled great curiosity. For me, it was like a circus tent, some spectacle hidden in it. I tried to enter it when workers left. I climbed up on the rubble, wooden pillars and pieces of walls. The process of construction by a modern technology was totally beyond my understanding. Because of its scale, the field was very spectacular. It brought me contrasting two feelings. The field was very exciting, but at that same time it brought me a fear as if embedded histories of the land were also taken away with a tremendous machinery power by modern technology. The houses were completely dismantled and there emerged an empty land. The empty land was my playground till they started new construction. I picked up many fragments, screws or fragments of building constructions also belongings left by unknown family who used to live there. So, the empty land seemed a container for me with full of those fragments as arrows to lots of stories left by the unknown family. At the same time, I imagined what kinds of machines were going to work and what kind of families would appear there. When a new construction started, that's the end stage of my playground at that momentary place. After that, I moved to another new dismantled place.
However, the development brought not only new identities in the town. It also revealed hidden histories by accident.
One day, I found a special place covered with a blue plastic seat. It seemed like not to build up anything. I kept to have a look around the space everyday. One day, I saw a lot of people bended their back and working with some small tools on their hands. That was an excavation research of an ancient habitat dated back 13000 years ago.
This appearance expanded time line of my thought. A space which is as small as my feet is a huge container, piled amount of histories from the ancient term till unlimited future. Then I promised myself to see much more things around me. At that time, I was 7 years old. I got high fever because of that excitement. During those days in the bed, I told my mother what's the most important thing for me was to have a great bicycle because I needed to explore much more than I did.
I got a new bicycle.
I wandered around the town as an observer or a migrant as if I created an imaginary map of the changing town.
Those experiences are still fresh and important elements of my thought.
I sometimes go back to the scene to put my white handkerchief on the miracle puddle.
When I opened it, I found nothing on it except that the white handkerchief just got dirty.
But the puddle had still shining with more complex pattern.
I was watching drops to drop from the handkerchief into the puddle.
It seemed like the drops were escaping from the handkerchief.
I wished the handkerchief to turn back white, so I wished all drops escaped from it.
Each drop brought different pattern much more complex than before.
It's just petrol floating on the puddle.
I sometimes go back to that moment.
That's puddle is the center of my imaginary map
and the basic point of my thought, and an idea of Tokyo, swinging between fantasy and reality.