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Extraordinary Acts In Motion – Train In Japan


Today in Japan, a group of commuters pushed a train onto a tilt to free a woman who slipped down the side and got trapped.

Train passengers and rail staff push a train car to rescue a trapped woman at Minami Urawa station.





See the article from the BBC below:

The woman was taken to hospital but suffered no serious injuries
Dozens of Japanese commuters worked together to help a woman who fell between the platform and the train during rush hour in Tokyo.

The unidentified woman, in her 30s, slipped into the gap at Minami-Urawa station, north of Tokyo, on Monday morning, as she got off the train.

Station officials asked commuters to help tilt the carriage so that the trapped woman could be freed.

The woman was pulled from the gap and had no major injuries.

A photographer from Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper captured the image of the passengers in action, who applauded when the woman was freed.

The train carriage was able to tilt because of its suspension system, the paper reported.

The train was sent on its way after a delay of just eight minutes, the paper said.

Distance Between Where You Are Now And Where You Have Come From

There is this thing when you go away somewhere , when you change location, where it takes a while for your body to catch up with itself. Jet lag is one version, there are physiological changes and shifts which need to re-balance and this can take 2 weeks – longer sometimes than the time spent away in the new place.

Another version is coming back from somewhere, like a holiday, and it feels like your new experiences are merging with your previous life, and you don’t want these feelings to go, but you feel like you can’t keep hold of them somehow.

I think three weeks is the amount of time for another place to really create new patterns in you and it is about a week for the first wave of feelings when you return to fade, unless you protect them somehow.

A friend of mine called Jo Going from Alaska once said to me, that you should move as slowly as possible when you are travelling or rather, take as long as you can to get somewhere, in that way you will be less jolted when you find yourself in a new place.

For as long as I can remember as an adult, I have been looking at people through a lens a bit like this but not connected to travel – how quickly do I think that people can change speed, if they had to, could they? If I had to, could I? And I don’t mean this only in a physical way, I mean it mentally too – I am looking for something in people’s eyes – do they have it? Do I have it? Can you tell? And is it there when you really need it? Sometimes I find myself on the underground looking around trying to work out who would react quickly.

I am interested in what this means when things have changed, when we are deviated from the script through no choice of our own and how this affects us, how it infiltrates into our civil society, what are the norms of participation in public spaces then? How can we respond to trouble that we don’t see coming?

On the plane back from Japan I read an article in The Economist about Fukushima. The Diet Commission report written after the nuclear accident states that “it’s root cause was the reflexive obedience, reluctance to question authority, devotion to sticking to the programme, groupism and insularity of the nation at large”.

I have been back four days. My sleep has adjusted but everything around me looks strange, except for my family, my friends and my home.

Blown Away In The Best Sense

I am blown away, in the best possible sense. Not a moment in the last 48 hours has been less than full, often full of everyone’s hard work and generosity in such abundance by people I hardly know and most I don’t know at all, that it has been totally overwhelming.

So, this will come in a random flurry as my energy returns and hours of footage and a mountain of images come gushing in.

We had a pop up cafe at 4am in the park, the cicada’s were dropping all around after seven years underground and seven days of life and love above, so many hard hats and boiler suits it was like an industrial catalogue fetishists dream and well of course there has been the boat.

To see 30 tonnes swinging over head on two webbing strapes suddenly seemed like a very bad idea and all the hard hats in the world will never cut that mustard.

And up on the highway cars must have suddenly noticed a massive fishing trawler float up besides, out of the dark sky, like they were in another place, like reality had shifted, which I guess this project is about in many respects – things that we know or think that we know suddenly changing and people organising around the giant events that make it so, this particular giant beast being a symbol of our water surrounded islands.

We are shaken every day, but some days it’s by our ability as people to shake from within.

Here are two videos by one of the lovely Art Lab Girls, Reiko Kondo. More to follow soon

Waiting for the boat to arrive by Reiko Kondo

After the boat has landed in the park by Reiko Kondo

A wing and a prayer and a crazy plan – Let’s do it.

Sun hat – check, cars – check, boat – check, sea – check, crane – check, lorry – check, road – check, crane again – check, park – check, cameras – check, people – I hope, pushing – likewise, story told by boy into megaphone – check.

So here we go, hold on tight, we have a marathon to get the rest of the footage for the film.

It feels like waiting for I don’t know what and I think I’ve had my head in the sand in the last few days, feeling sick, maybe trying to sidestep the inevitable.

The day has been much longer than it usually is today, it seems to go on forever as we build up to this almighty effort by lots of very generous people.

There will be lots of hydration (Yasunori is taking care of taking care of people), battery charging, camera logistics and crazy driving around a 25 metre lorry in the middle of the night.

We start at 6am Sunday 14th July and don’t stop til Monday 15th July at 11am except for 2 short breaks.

We are about to enter the twilight zone, where anything can happen and the only way is onwards.

So wish us all luck, come down if you can to the park to push at 10am on Monday 15th, look out of your windows at midnight tomorrow if you live anywhere between Nagoya Port and the city to witness the big trawler glide past, or at 1am go to the park see a crane lit by beautiful balloon like lamps, lift our boat over the ginko trees into the park.

Or just imagine and we’ll see you on the other side. Hopefully with a nice film for the Aichi Triennale and hopefully with a memorable collective act eavesdropped on from the far corners.

I thank you all.

Call to Action – 参加者/観覧者募集 Participants/Audience Wanted


来たる7月15日午前10時から行われるブラスト・セオリーのあいちトリエンナーレ出展作品「The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life」の撮影に参加してくださる方を募集しています。





We would like to invite you along on 15th July at 10am,  to be involved in a very special part of the project by Blast Theory: The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life.

We are filming the whole process of moving the fishing boat from Toyohama to Nagoya and at 10am, we will all push the boat into its’ final position. There, a boy, will climb onto the deck of the boat and tell his story to everyone who has gathered. 

The boat will be there for the Aichi Trienanale and you will be able to visit the boat and watch the film on a tablet.

Please come along if you can and bring others too, because we will need you all.

Time and date : Monday July 15th at 10am – 11am.

Location : the park near Wakamiya Odori crossing, Nagoya.