TAKAHASHI-SAN NO KAI
First I felt like I wanted to gather people who have something in common. For example, it is not unusual that people who have things in common get together, things like taste in music or sports, being in the same grade, the same interest in fashion, people who like to drink, or people who live in the same neighborhood. I do that too.
However, I wanted to throw a party where people gather based on something they have in common but which doesn’t usually cause them to gather together. I thought hard about what this thing could be: A simultaneous gathering of skinheads and people with long hair? A gathering of left-handers? A gathering of people whose monthly salary is a hundred thousand dollars? A gathering of people who pooped twice in their pants one night?… This list can go on indefinitely.
However, I decided on a relatively easy characteristic, and one that is not likely to be cancelled for moral reasons (my opinion). I decided to gather people according to their last name: Takahashi. There is no real reason why I chose that name. My interest and goal was in making the gathering itself happen and as for what occurred afterwards. I had no goal, only interest. I think I was hoping that, by getting these people together, something would happen.
I thought I’d make a flyer that said “ARE YOU TAKAHASHI-SAN?” and put it in various places around town. I submitted the data to the printer I usually use. When I went to pick up the flyer the next day, the printer himself turned out to be the first Takahashi-san who responded to the flyer. He promised to participate.
On the day of the party, in the venue, I waited alone for the Takahashis. A strange loneliness and tension ran through me. I was sweating. Just before the start time, someone opened the door… In the end, five Takahashis showed up. I had almost no idea what to do next, but since it was a gathering of strangers, I handed out documents in which I assembled the etymology of the name Takahashi, and the distribution of Takahashis throughout Japan. We introduced ourselves, googled celebrity Takahashis, and played card games. Anything that could trigger communication. I was sweating.
In the latter half, the people who were there started talking about other things, expanding the conversation. These were deep conversations and they made me think about how frivolous I had been in this project. And I felt that the simplicity of the event was telling me something complex. So I am planning to do this event again, despite my regret about the frivolity of the first event, and I am excited to see how it will leave my hands and develop.