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Let’s learn the essence of architecture through physical expression for fun!

“Kenchiku Taiso” or gymnastics that is a bodily mimic of architectural forms is introduced in this issue. A unique art event, where you can learn architecture with your body, is reported.

What is “Kenchiku Taiso” that may change your way of looking at architecture?

The inventor of “Kenchiku Taiso” is Isamu Yoneyama, an architectural historian and a researcher for the Edo-Tokyo Museum, who conceived the Taiso in 1998 in the hope of letting children know that architecture which seems highly technical and unapproachable is in fact friendly and interesting. Yoneyama together with Hidehisa Takahashi as a Taiso performer, who is a curator of the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum, have perfected forms through trial and error. Later, the team was joined by Masaki Onishi and Motoko Tanaka, which made it possible for the trio to perform gymnastic formations and enrich their repertoire of architectural forms. At present, they hold workshops throughout Japan with a large repertoire of more than a hundred forms.

Anyone from children to elderly persons and stiff physiques can make it.

A workshop for “Kenchiku Taiso” will be held on October 27 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan that is known for designs by Kunio Maekawa. Participants will be encouraged to bodily mimic images of the world’s famous architecture shown at the site.

“Architectures have a variety of appearances. Some produce majestic and tense atmospheres while others are relaxing and congenial. To capture the architectural essence, physical skills are not required. Anyone from children to elderly persons can do it and there are always easy positions for children and elderly persons in gymnastic formations. One of the purposes of this Taiso is to divide the task up on the basis of the right person in the right place and produce good teamwork.” (Yoneyama, left)

“No perfect and absolute answers are expected for ‘Kenchiku Taiso.’ Some people say they are poor at athletics, wondering whether people with no physical flexibility can do it. But, what is important is the point aimed at. A person of a flexible and slender physique is not necessarily good at it. That is a fun part of this Taiso.” (Takahashi, right)

Why don’t you take this opportunity to try “Kenchiku Taiso”?
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Event Report