Shuji Terayama’s book collection

The Magical Bookstore



究竟寺山修司的瘋狂點子是從何而來的呢?他一直吸收的是怎樣的文化營養?從他的藏書之中,或能窺看一二。東京代官山的T-Site Garden Gallery現正舉辦〈寺山修司不思議書店〉展覽,展出他過千本的藏書,橫尾忠則及宇野亞喜良為其創作的戲劇宣傳海報,亦將同時展出。

I first got to know about Shūji Terayama back in university, when I was working part-time in an arts organization helping to build up an archive for the visual library. There I came across a few of Terayama’s works, among which was Pastoral: To Die in the Country. The film was set in various theatrical stages, with all kinds of strange characters in scenes using a very vivid visual language. The film struck me so deeply that I once thought Terayama was merely a brilliant cult film director.

Back in Japan, Terayama was in fact better known for his Haiku, poetry, drama plays, political commentary, photography, and even horse-racing commentary. When being asked to define his occupation, he said, “My job is to be Shūji Terayama.” He acted according to his interest and saw it as his occupation. In his times, Terayama was always full of impressive surprises. For example, being a huge fan of boxing game himself, Terayama hosted a funeral for the fictional character Joe Yabuki, who is the protagonist in the Japanese boxing manga Ashita no Joe, when he died in the final chapter. The event even attracted 500 participants to attend. Terayama was never restricted by any norm; he was always curious, bizarre, unconventional, and cast a great influence on Japanese culture.

Where did Terayama get all his freakish ideas? From where did he gain his knowledge and thoughts? Perhaps his book collection could give us a glimpse into his mind. The Magical Bookstore of Shūji Terayama is an exhibition currently showing in T-Site Garden Gallery in Daikanyama, Tokyo. It showcases more than a thousand volumes of Terayama’s book collection, alongside with posters Tadanori Yokoo and Aquirax Uno designed for Terayama’s plays and films.