Supermarket of Names

August 2016
The vacant lot where the Onoya Supermarket used to be, Nakaminato, Ibaraki

On the 16th of August 2016, a workshop involving about 30 local children was held at a vacant lot where a supermarket used to be. It was the day following the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Participants were asked to name everything in the supermarket by sticking their original name cards written with colorful ink and pieces of paper. After the 90 minute workshop, all participants signed each of the small pieces of white paper and placed them in the space filled with a lot of things and names. And then, an actress performed the poem “White Paper” by Ryuichi Tamura. The director Yukari Sakata tried to invite reflection over the topic of "war responsibility" using this poem, participant's individual signatures and names of supermarket items.

Poem: Ryuichi Tamura "White Paper"

Direction: Yukari Sakata

Performance: Miho Inatsugu

Calligraphy: Haruna Tsuyuki

Photography: Yurina Era

Staff: Saori Azuma

Produced by: Four Thousand Days and Nights Project

“White Paper”

I’m wondering.
How many times
have I signed
on white paper?

fountain pen
mechanical pencil

It snowed when I got a brush bought.
It was around 1929, maybe.

I walked to the elementary school.
My ground mother took me.
The road was muddy with snow.
I had signed since then.

Many times.
Thousands or millions of times.

Back of construction paper
Answer paper
Daily in summer

Business English writing
Military note
Very secret message

Of course
Receipts, IOU, interest statements, traveler's checks
gratuity, condolatory money

And a tiny thing
that tiny piece of white paper
thin lines of the word

right after a poem.