day 1 - ARAI SHIN-ICHI
Petit Retrospective of ARAI Shin-ichi
Works from 1999-2009
The first of 5 nights of performances by Mr. Shin-ichi
Viva! United States -for Herbert Norman
In University, I studied Modern Japanese History, and re-learned Herbert Norman . . .
In elementary school, we ate a lunch of bread, powdered-milk, and other (unnamed) foods. I never ate bread or milk in my own home, at home we ate rice and miso soup. The bread at school was made with [expired] flour from the United States, and we drank [powdered] milk , which I later learned, were common in the United states.
Still, the U.S. government had sold them to the Japanese. When I asked my mother to buy bread and milk, she said they were too expensive for us . I liked Coca-cola alot, but could only get it once or twice a year, when our relatives visited and gave me a little money; then I ran to the store and bought Coke. My parents asked why I like Coca-cola, when it tastes like medicine and it is so expensive?Viva! United States -for Herbert Norman
At the same time, every day on tv ads, they sang the. "DEL MONTE tomato ketchup" song, and we happily sang the "DEL MONTE tomato ketchup" song without knowing what ketchup is. Because of this song, I like ketchup so much, I use ketchup on everything. However, my parents never got used it.
40 years ago, my home town was a countryside , and all around my house were rice fields and some gas stations. Now, there are no rice fields, but only McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken�s, 24 hour convenience stores (like "Seven-Eleven"), and USA-style road-side restaurants. In our Japanese kitchens � there is no more Ajinomoto, and all the food we buy has everything already in it. My father, who died 7 years ago , liked Kentucky Fried Chicken very much He also liked Japanese sake very much. So, he drank sake and ate Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes. He drank sake with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now my mother lives alone in our home town.
She told me that she sometimes does not like to make her meals, so she buys bread and milk at the convenience store, 7-11 for her lonely dinner alone.
Widely read in his time, Herbert Norman wrote about the working class of Japan, and of the farmers, who had created a political system of their own. This political system, despite the various realms of the Japanese Emperors. had existed for hundreds of years, and had remained stable Normans� writings on the modern history of Japan are important, especially his writings on the tradition of democracy in Japan before World War Two, as many Japanese historians believe that before World War II there was no tradition of democracy in Japan.
Life began to fall apart for Norman in 1959, when questions were raised in a US Senate committee about his reliability and his past activities at Cambridge University. In 1956 he was moved to Cairo as Canadian Ambassador to Egypt where, after brokering a successful treaty over the Suez Crisis, he found himself in the international spotlight once again.V
But his presence in Cairo sparked criticism in Washington that someone of Norman�s questionable security background could occupy such a sensitive position. He was named again in the U. S. Senate Internal Security Subcommitte in mid-March 1957.
In desperation and over the fear of a second round of questioning by the Senate, where he would have to support his views and name his friends, Norman took his own life by jumping off the roof of a hotel in Cairo on April 4, 1957. Despite the various realms of the Japanese Emperors, the writings of Norman were considered too political. He had portrayed the working-class, ie: the people who could not afford Del Monte Ketchuo at home, in so much of a spotlight, that he could not survive.
Had he survived, he would have had to name all of the people he had championed, (despite the fact that none of them were US citizens). PERRFORMANCE: ARAI pours ketchup over a portrait of Norman, with powdered milk and flour ARAI asks the audience to pour over him with powdered skimmed milk and flour. Arai sings the "DEL MONTE tomato ketchup" song. - Arai pours ketchup on the portrait of Norman and his wife Ajiomoto was said to make people clever, especially children. ARAI pours monosodium glutamate over the portrait of Norman and his wife. Ajinomoto is the Japanese company of monosodium glutamate that has produced monosodium glutamate since 1909. Ajinomoto means "King of flavor" in Japanese. Now, especially in Asia, there are many companies like Ajinomo.