Tomorrow’s World disappeared without much warning

Tomorrow’s World disappeared without much warning.

It was the DVD rental shop in Portslade, Brighton, England, which had been there for 30 years – it just stopped trading.

It up and went before our very eyes, and before the eyes of the woman whose business it was. Forces of the market beyond her control changed her life forever.

We had been customers for the last 7 years and every Friday or Saturday night, we might go there as an end of the week treat. It was our ritual. And now it is gone. And we all have this strange mourning sensation when we walk past the empty shop unit.

Like my friend Kirsty once described “ it’s like the sense of yearning you feel for something that happened in a dream, when you wakeup in the morning”

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The Dummy Run – Imagining How Things Will Look

Tonight we are going out to film the exact route the boat will take on the lorry, from Nagoya Port to the park in central Nagoya in the early hours of the 15th July.

This will be a ghost version.  We want a trace or pre-trace of the journey. This is a small rehearsal.

I want to try to imagine what it is like to see things completely changed. Before and after. This is a blank.  These streets will never look the same again.

We will be looking for places where the boat will look strong, any problems, any surprises.

A boat is not meant to be this far in land, only on this occasion it is us who will make that decision and not nature.

Everything cannot be aligned or prepared for.


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Looking for a boy to tell a story

Tonight I went to a very special place in Nagoya with Yasunori.

It is the home of a family who have been performing Kyogen theatre for 400 years – a family of national treasures and it felt incredibly special. They used to be employed to entertain the emperor and in 2005 three generations appeared on stage together. I almost forgot what I was doing there as the boys were put through their paces and the story of snails giving longevity and the story of a young priest exorcising a man’s son of owl-like demon’s were played out.

We spoke about tradition versus the contemporary, how Japan and the United Kingdom have similarities in these ways and the tensions that lie between the old and the new. I left with a fantastic book of photographs called “Ga-shin-kyo – Nomura Matasaburo and his family” and a bag full of snacks, and a promise to introduce my children to their children when they come here in a few weeks time. When I got back to Fushimi, I got out of the subway and was lost for over an hour and a half. My phone didn’t work and I bought glittery nail polish, like that would help. If it wasn’t for the giant silver ball of the Science Museum I would still be out there now. When I got back to the apartment strangely my phone worked again.

We are looking for a boy to tell the story I am writing on the boat. Tonight we may have found him.

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Our Neighbours

This is the park where the boat will eventually come to rest for 3 months before an undecided fate.
It is under a highway near the Museum in central Nagoya, I think it’s perfect.


This is also the home of our neighbour in the park, we hope they like having a boat here for a few months, maybe it can be of use to them.


The park is surrounded by gingko trees – they are highly unusual non-flowering plants and there are fossils dating back 270 million years which relate to the gingko – we are in very good company here.


You can enter the site from both ends and there are major roads either side.
Some visitors may be a little nervous of our neighbours which I understand, but it brings to mind a quote from the James Cameron film, The Abyss, when Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s character says: “we all see what we want to see ……you have to look with better eyes than that”.

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A Lorry That Can Carry A Boat

The lorry that will carry the boat from Nagoya Port to the park, its’ final position, will be 25 metres long.

The boat is 19 metres long.

There will be a car in front and a car at the back.

It will be travelling at 40 kilometres an hour and the journey will take 1 hour.

It will leave at midnight and arrive at 1am on 15th July.

We have 2 video cameras, 1 car and 2 of us to film this section.  We cannot light the boat as it may distract the driver and other drivers, but we would like to stop to film a special section – we are waiting for permission from the police to let us know if and where we can do this.

Here is from left to right, Munechika Inukai,  Norimichi Iyama and Kazunori Watanabe from the lorry company who are managing this part of the process.



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Planning the shoot – Toyohama Port to Nagoya Port

So we are making a film of the whole process, did I say?

The next stage is the journey from Toyohama Port to Nagoya Port, the boat being tugged along.  I think the boats move fairly quickly and I plan to film on board, so I am imagining a pretty tricky ride.

As long as the cameras work and don’t see me leaning over the side, I think that all should be well.

Here are some of my rough drawings


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The Boat And The Fish

Yesterday was one of those days that is so large and so full, I can hardly believe it can only be 24 hours long and it has taken me 24 hours to process it.

We pulled the boat up with the help of the winch, the huge team of people and a yellow megaphone.

We filmed and photographed and tweeted and filmed some more.
We ate the happy fish, squid and clams, Noriko’s rice balls, which she got up at 5am to make and drank iced tea to celebrate our work and Eight Prosper Circle. I handed out liquorice pipes to the children and flitted about talking to people I had never met before, who came out for us, full of pride and pleasure to take part.

I saw eagles and cranes at the fish market, where live octopus slivered for their lives right out of the crates and the auctioneer delivered the most fantastic mathematical musical torrent in Japanese. Families and friends of all ages in peachy pink and purple and green rubbery overalls, sloshed fish about, ordering them into size and quality, rinsed crates and picked out the weaklings. All so matter of fact, but not to me.

Invited into the home of the man who will pull our boat around to Nagoya port, we drank iced coffee, held his 2 month old granddaughter, watched the fish festival on DVD and were generally bedazzled by his lovely friendly family of 3 generations.  His pretty wife with encrusted acrylic nails like a mermaid surely should have, the men in patterned underwear, sweet crackers on the table for us to help ourselves, and no sense at all that we were intruding or strangers, in any way whatsoever.

A hot spring next to sooth our sunburnt, tired bodies, towels on heads, washing sat on little stools and calm.

Then back to eat the freshly caught fish feast in the local hotel with the man who has given the boat to the project, and as the sun went down it all just blew my mind.

How generous can people be, how close you can feel, why in the world not.

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