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Celebrate with artists, the beauty and inspiration of the goddess Benzaiten,
and her creative power to reveal the mystical beauty of sacred Mt. Minoh.
-Rediscovery of the Beauty-

Mount Minoh, was founded by Enno Gyoja, a Shugendo, Buddhist monk, and is a mystical, sacred site. Enno Gyoja has made this holy Mountain a very special place resounding in the power and beauty of the presiding Goddess, Benzaiten and Kangiten.
It is a place where all of the deities of the mountain join with Buddhist monks, giving benediction and peace to all who visit
Bathed in autumn、 scarlet and gold, Mt Minoh is filled with Benzaiten、 mystical power、 and spiritual energy, inspiring artists from all over the Kansai area to once again come together to participate in the Minoh no Mori Artwalk 2020, and with one resounding, artistic, creative, spiritual voice, celebrate this holy Mountain and the Goddess Benzaiten.

Why we dare to hold the Artwalk 2020 despite COVID-19 

Artwalk has been held every two years since 2011. To hold this event in autumn 2020, there were many twists and turns.

Last event was held in 2017 and therefore, the following event should have taken place in 2019. However, the year before on September 4, 2018, Typhoon 21 hit Minoh and the Mountain was seriously damaged. Tens of old cedar trees along the path to the great waterfall, especially between Shigenokoba, the ascetic practice place, which takes on the deep mountain valley look to Tojin Modori Iwa, Chinese Returned Rock, were knocked down by the strong wind. 

Landslides happened in various places along the path to the waterfall and entry was prohibited. The worst damage was to the edifice of Ryuanji Temple. From Zuiun Bridge to Hououkaku Pavilion is regarded as the symbol of Minoh Mountain. Hououkaku Pavilion, Priest’s quarter and reception hall, were seriously damaged, so that the scene was hard to look at. (The buildings are currently under reconstruction.) This is why the 2019 Artwalk, known for its sight specific art, had to be postponed.

However, this year, COVID-19 broke out first in Wuhan, China and then spread all over the world. Japan, and of course Osaka, were no exception.  Even now the pandemic, seems to have no end. Due to the self-restraint STAY HOME strategy and closure request of the government, many art galleries and museums had no choice but to cancel their events and were forced into temporary closure. In these few months, we have been trying to avoid crowded places according to self-restraint request. Festivals, theaters, music concerts had been canceled. We were forced to face how local culture has atrophied. What if this situation lasts longer… we no longer could remain an idle spectator and set our teeth to hold the Artwalk 2020. 

Artists need their place to exhibit. It is not a solution to be afraid of the pandemic, not knowing when to finish, and do nothing. When we face the risk, but pay close attention to prevent the infection, we may not bother the people. COVID-19 made people seclude from each other and society and let their culture wane. Now is the time, where society and the people act together and give art the chance to exhibit its power to bring back charm into our life and into our heart. 

Toru Nakatani, Minoh no Mori Artwalk General Producer
Translation : Tomoko Pepping
Edited by Thomas Cleveland


About Minoh no Mori Artwalk

Minoh is well known for the autumn leaves and the waterfall since long ago: it is the most popular tourist spot in the Hokusetsu region, where two million people visit throughout the year. The Takimichi, the venue of this art event, has a long, 1350 year history. It is said that Enno Gyoja (a mountain priest) practiced asceticism at the waterfall in 658. Since then the Takimichi (a path to the waterfall) has not been a virgin forest. Its nature has been altered by human activities. That means that it is a nature loaded with cultural and historical meaning. It is very significant to install contemporary art work along the Takimichi, where a rich relationship between man and nature has developed, in both point of view, art, and sightseeing.

For this event, contemporary artists who are at the cutting edge, mainly in the Kansai area, are invited. Site-specific artwork is installed at stores and facilities along or neighboring the Takimichi, leading to the Otaki, or waterfall, from the Minoh station on the Hankyu railroad. Performance in the square in front of the Ryuanji-temple, will be featured.

Site-specific art refers to an artwork that is created taking the location, the environment, the facilities, the culture, the history and the people's lives in this community into account. Communicating with locals to know their lives is intended for art tourists and other visitors to understand what contemporary art is and to appreciate it to rediscover Minoh's nature, history and culture with a new perspective provided by the works of art.

This year's story of Minoh, once again, is about to unfold among the people on the stage of the Takimichi.

Toru Nakatani, Minoh no Mori Artwalk 2020 General Producer


Organizers: Executive Committee of the Minoh no Mori Artwalk
Mayumi Odagiri, Youichi Nakama, Kaori NakaI, Sonoe Nishio, Ayame Hashimoto , Shuichi Hashimoto,
Tomoko Pepping, Lee Chungho
General Producer: Contemporary Art Gallery Zone (Toru Nakatani, Masayo Nakatani)
Sponsors: Saikouji Temple / Osaka Prefectural Gavernment / Minoh City / Minoh City Tourism Association
 / Minoh-City Foundation of Cultur
Supporters: Saikouji Temple / The Committee for the Preservation of Mt.Minoh/ Minoh KAJIKASOU
 / Rental Housing Service(Kotonoya)
Grants: The Daijoukoushou Minoh Art and Culture Promotion Fund

●illustration & design : Shuichi Hashimoto ●Haiku : Shosei Kajiyama
●Translation : Toru Nakatani, Tomoko Pepping ●翻訳協力:Edited by Thomas Cleveland, Vallo Riberto

About Zone, Our Contemporary Art Gallery Zone

In December 2008, the Contemporary Art Gallery Zone opened at the Sakurai Ichiba (marketplace in Sakurai) Minoh Osaka, Japan. Since then, Zone has become famous among the people in this community as the gallery that has provided them an opportunity to see contemporary art. The reason we opened the gallery in the marketplace is because we want people in this community to be aware of how interesting and accessible contemporary art is, even for people not interested in art. We would like to inform people on what we think contemporary art is through our exhibitions.

The Zone gallery, has no walls, figurative or literal, existing between public walkways and the interior of this setting, so pedestrians can freely stop by with shopping bag in hand to join in with full of curiosity, and have fun. Everyday life space becomes art space. Art space becomes everyday life space. There are no boundaries between life and art. We would like you to feel closer to contemporary art in such a space and to introduce the works which meet our esthetic without the limitation of the genre of art: installation art, performance art, painting, drawing, sculpture and others.

Our gallery's year-round programming features solo and group exhibitions by regional, national and international visual artists. The gallery also promotes a range of programming including artist talks, openings, lectures and other special events. Gallery programming aims to foster professionalism and appreciation of regional visual arts practice, and provides the community with exposure and access to a diverse range of contemporary visual arts practices and theories.

We have created an art space with this new concept.

  Executive Committee of the Minoh no Mori Artwalk(Contemporary Art Gallery Zone)
Hankyu Sakurai Ichiba, 2-10-5 Sakurai, Minoh City Osaka, Japan 562-0043
San Diego Office:7791 Acama St. San Diego, CA 92126 U.S.A. office Tel : 858-547-9250