Japanese Gesture Archive


Archive is a collective memory.


This is an archive of Japanese people and non-Japanese people reenacting the gestures from Japanese films Yojimbo (1961, The story took place in 1860) and Tokyo Story (1953.)  Those gestures I archived are curated for a specific purpose, to discover Japanese social aesthetic, as social choreography.


Body and gesture are ephemeral art forms. 


Each gesture has aesthetics, meanings, and contexts such as dance vocabularies, and by investigating each gesture with the help of the American people’s viewpoint, I am discovering the aesthetic and ideology of Japan that rules each gesture. 

I aim to give names to those Japanese habitual, anonymous movement not to dismiss but to acknowledge them and their histories, to give another perspective in the world in which Eurocentric movement culture is dominant. 


The form of the Archive offers a platform to rewrite the past and recapture the present by reading and reframing the present through its lens of the past. 


Archiving body gestures reconstructs the time. 


Maho Ogawa