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Unending fire, until excruciating day

​2022 - On going


​祖母の手描きによる、戦争中の記憶の風景/Hand-drawn by my grandmother, a scene from her memory during the war

"When I lived around here during the war, I looked up in the sky and saw a Japanese plane hit a B-29."


One day in early summer, under a big blue sky near the Hachioji Interchange on the Chuo Expressway, my grandmother, who was sitting in the back seat, began to tell her story without warning.


"I was in the third grade of elementary school, and it was a sunny spring day. It was a sunny spring day. One day, without knowing why, they took me up to the bank to look at the sky. When the planes collided with each other, there would be a flash of sparks in the distant sky, then glitter like was true. Grandma, even now, I can't forget that scene."






東京都​八王子市明神町, Mojincho-Hachioji,Tokyo 2022


AI-generated drawing based on grandmother's testimony











It is said that the generation that knew the WWⅡ will soon be gone.


It is undoubtedly important that their experiences be passed on to the next generation who will live without knowing the war, not only as an inheritance of the past, but also as a future-oriented act. On the other hand, our eyes are attached here and our heads are here, so it is impossible to look into someone's memory as it is, or to truly share our personal experiences and perspectives with others.


The experiences we think we are sharing with someone every day are merely scenes reconstructed in the imagination of the person receiving them through the media of photographs, words, and pictures.


Whose" memory is it, then? Whose memory of the scene I imagined when I heard my grandmother's story, in which light particles burst into the blue sky, is this scene from whose memory?


Who is the creator of the non-existent scene generated by AI based on the text, and whose property is the image? What is the process by which an AI-based artist's work becomes his own work?


If it is impossible for us to share our experiences, perspectives, and thoughts with each other, why do we still want to communicate and share something with others?




AI-colored black-and-white photo


The light blue kimono worn by my grandmother in this photo was actually a light peach color, as I confirmed with her, and I do not know if the light blue color happened to be common in the kimono photos that AI had learned so far, but it was inevitable that it was a peach color for her own memory, while she saw it 60 years later and felt that it was a light blue color for her. I felt as if I had seen the process of generalization and the lack of detail in the individual's own memory that has been passed on to others.

My grandmother married my grandfather in 1959 and ran a beauty salon in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. The husband passed away in 2019 after the couple lived with just a pair of scissors. It was two years after my grandmother told me about the scene she saw in Hachioji.


At the end of my grandfather's funeral, when it came to the coffin, I was probably the only one among the relatives who saw my grandmother slip a small folded piece of paper into the front right breast of my grandfather's death garment. Then, while my grandfather waited for the whole piece of paper to become bone, I decided to ask my grandmother about it.


She said, "What was that thing you had in your grandfather's chest earlier?"


In a quiet voice that no one else could hear, she told me alone.


It was his last love letter."


Only my grandmother and my grandfather knew what was written there.



I remember that my grandfather hated pumpkins. I remember hearing that it was because he was forced to eat it as a substitute for rice during the war. I didn't even know until then that my grandfather was such a cool guy who made his family laugh by saying funny things right up to the moment he lost consciousness in the hospital, and lived a life that would earn him a love letter on his deathbed from his beloved, who had been with him for many years.


In retrospect, I should have listened to more than just the pumpkin story.
















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