Some Writing '02

I had been writing a long novel until August last year.
I had uploaded its some chapters in 2000. You can still read them in English on this web site. But, after all, the whole story became very long. Actually, it is about ten times long as that. Although it is a fiction, I wrote a lot of things about New York City in '90s based on my experience. So, it is sorry that I can not publish it in English.
Now, I am preparing to publish the work in Japan. And, I created its book cover which you can see on the former page. I tryed to creat a color grid with using photographies that I took like snap shots in New York, Tokyo, and other regions in Japan. While I was in the foundation year of Pratt, I created a lot of color grids. So, I recalled it a little and also I thought about some traditional Japanese architecture and interior like sho-ji screen, hidden chest, ninja house and so on.

Anyway, after I had finished my long novel on August last year, I started to find how to publish my work. At that time, the 911 happened. Off course, I was very shocked. And, in Octorber, I heard from my college, Pratt Institute. The letter indicated that some alumni had lost their lives in the World Trade Center tragedy or who had been listed among the missing. Pratt founded in 1887 and might be the oldest art college in New York City. There are a number of alumni. So, it was nothing strange, although I am not still sure people whom I met in victims or not. Actually, not only friends, while I was in Pratt, I saw many people in New York.
In 1993, I lived in the East River side in Brookly. At that time, the same building was attacked by terrorists. But, I knew it from my friend in a few days later. It was because the lower part of the building was attacked. I could not watch it from the East River side. But, after a while, I met a Jpanese who was working in the World Trade Center. And then, I heard a short story that he was suprised and escaped for his life. But, at this time, if he was still working, it seemed to be very difficult. And, not only the person, actually, many people who worked in Downtown, Manhattan lived in my neighborhood.

After one month since 911, a retaliatory bombing started. Although it includes a sense of self-defense and bombing the wrong targets, the Red Cross hospital was destoryed and some innocent people in Afghanistan were dead. It was also very sad like 911, although I am not sure how much it is exact information or not.
Actually, there have been a lot of difficulties and conflicts since 911. And, I guess, even though people living in New York, there are a lot of different opinions about those issues. But, if I am in overseas, the U.S. goverment opinions mainly reach. I guess, if it is in New York, we might say the opposite thing.
Personally, I still object to attack against any innocent people in any region in the world, even though it is a wrong target. We need to find better solutions in the 21st century. We can not do anything in confusion. And, people who have the responsibility should take the final responsibility.
However, I felt that some New Yokers showed us how to fight against terrorism. As long as I was watching it in overseas, I watced many images of volunteers and cooperations with each citizens. And also, I watched images of many country flags. People who do not know about New York so much seemed to have critical opinions about those patriotisms. But, I thought, it was one of effective ways to fight against terrorism. Actually, at present, people who have various nationalities, races and religions are living in New York. If we go to a ATM corner in most banks in New York, we can see not only English but also Spanish, Chinese and some other languages. As the scale of the city area, Tokyo is not so smaller than New York. But, the diversity of New York is not comparable. So, in the sense, I think that New York is still one of leading cities in the world.
And, I do not care people from India or Pakistan. And also, people from Isreal or Palestine. But, I disagree with terrorism like 911. And, I do not care people whose religion is Muslim. Actually, there is freedom of religion in the United States, Japan and many other countries. And, I think that traditional Muslim never recommend violence so much.
According to Korea, while I was in Pratt, I talked with many South Korean students. Tere were many students from Seoul and some students from Pusan. In the same art studio, we were sometimes working together. And, we could not speak English like a native English speaker, we could talk each other various things as usual. In the sense, English is very helpful as one of international languages. Not only young students, among graduate students, there was a little elder person who was doing a teacher in a Korean high school. And also, I remember that a famous Korean singer was attending at the foundation art class. So, if we see each other directly and can communicate, I do not feel any problems about South Korea, although there are sometimes controversial historical issues between the sea. So, I think, if South Korea can make better relation with North Korea, it will be very fine. And, in this year, the World Cup Soccer will take place in Japan and Korea. Although I do not know about soccer so much, I hope that not only competition but also communication will take place.

The Olympics also took place. But, some of them seemed to be a little strange Olympics. And, there are still some security risks. I read a short comment by Jacques Derrida just after 911. He was talking like, not only the way depending on military and police, if we do not change political situation, the problem might not change fundamentally. And also, he said that we need to change the relations between rich and poor countries, some Western countries, Euro and U.S., Islam and Arab countires and so on.
I think that it might not be so easy. But, basically, I agree with his opinion. And also, although I am not sure what terrorists wanted exactly, it seemed that they wanted to stop killing Muslim people in the world. It is sure that we should cooporate to stop any regional disputes in the world, if possible. And, Derrida also said that we should not push the responsibility to the United States, European countries need to cooporate like the problem between Isreal and Palestine. Personally, I do not alway know about such a faraway place. And, basically, I talk about a place where I have been and what I know. And, now, I do not know what financial problems are going in Japan. But, Japan and other countries should help to solve regional disputes, if possible. Actually, regional disputes are not just their problems. They are not good for people in the world.
Last year, I watched " Italia ", a film by Straub-Huillet at Athenee Francais in Ochanomizu, Tokyo. I recalled final words like, " Why do you insult the world ! " I felt, since 911, a lot of things which insult the world happened.
Anyway, in any case, any reason, I disagree with terrorism like 911. And also, I do not agree with pointing at specific countries as enemies or evils so much. It sometimes creats real enermies. While I was in New York, I did not want to be concerned with international economical disputes. But, frankly, I sometimes felt that every Japanese was also an enemy of the United States.
However, it is also the fact that some countries had better accept the request of investigation of the United Nations. Actually, there are a lot of difficulties about those issues. And also, I think that it is also difficult to find terrorists. Defense is sometimes more difficult rather than attacks. So, I feel that we can not depend on not only military and police. General citizens need to take care and cooperate to investigate terrorists.
Recently, Mr. Pearl, a writer of the Wall Street Journal passed away. It was unfair and very sad. But, in a sense, I think that he showed us the spirit to fight against terrorism and cooperation to the world society as a citizen in the 21st century.
Although he took too many risks, he was trying to get information. So, I also respect him as a journalist. Actually, I watched a lot of images of broken buildings through various media. But, it seemed to overflow. And, it was hard to know how large the influence spread in Downtown, Manhattan. Besides, most people did not Know the buildings until 911. I feel that most people have not so many opportunities to know ordinary scenes through media.

Anyway, according to architecture in New York, I know that there are a lot of interesting modern architecture except WTC buildings in Manhattan. I also studied about some architecture in art history. Many people might know about Empire State building, Chrysler building and famous bridges. And also, I like historical landmarks in Brookly.
According to the latest architecture in New York, I heard two interesting projects before 911. One is the project of Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry in lower Manhattan. And, the other is that the former Mayor, Giuliani was planning to build movie studios in the place which was the part of Brooklyn Navy Yard. And also, I heard that many people want to rebuild the World Trade Center. So, I do not know how they will be. But, I look forward to seeing not only old sights but also new sighst in New York city.
Some people said that 911 terrorists pretended Hollywood movies and wanted to creat a spectacle. But, after all, they left broken stuffs. Actually, architecture projects need not only a lot of moneny, but also a number of construction workers build with spending a long time. And then, great architecture make real impacts or spectacles. Everyone can enjoy to look at. I think, it is a big difference.
And, according to cultural scene in New York, in recent years, I think that there are not so many popular songs from Broadway musicals. And, I feel, it is a little strange thing. I do not know about musical well. But, I know that there are a lot of legacies on Broadway Musicals. For example, "Do Re Mi," "Edelweiss" and many songs were born from "The Sound of Music." "Tonight" was born from "The West Side Story." And, "Cats" also made some good songs. Recently, I do not know whether "Lion King" made that kind of songs or not. Anyway, those musical songs became popular songs and then became standards. And, they are a little different from classics or jazz.
If I am in Japan, I can listen to Rock or Hip Pop on the Radio. They are ok. Actually, I listen to various types of music. But, I also want to listen to musical songs. And, I think, that kind of culture give influence to society.
Anyway, now, I can not visit in New York so often. But, I hope that I can visit or stay in New York again.

March, 2002

Yuji Ito