In 2021, it started as a rare year for the world, and Japan too.
Especially Japan has still planed to hold the Olympic Games, that 2021 received “three times” Olympic year as “Tokyo Olympic Games 2020“.
Eventually, is the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held?
Many people in Japan has a negative and skeptical opinion.
Even so, many “next” World tournaments are waiting for scheduled date, such as the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, the Soccer World Cup in Qatar, both is held in 2022.
Unfortually the Tokyo Olympics “2020” has played a role in pioneering Next games.
If it is not hold , it could be a blank in the history of the Olympics.
(If the Games themselves is canceled, it will be the first time after WWII)
In related Japan with Olympics, it may be remembered about the Games of Moscow in 1980 at first.
Due to the political background of the US-Soviet Cold War era, the Japan Olympic Committe has decided to boycott the dispatch of athletes to the Moscow Olympics in favor of the majority.
The tears of the athletes are impressive, and it’s only a tragedy for the athletes, and in that sense, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 may follow the same path.
However, there is no doubt that Tokyo has been changed as a result of the bid.
Some of examples are that the announcements and displays on the train have been multilingualized for visitors who come from overseas.
With that trend, many public art works can be seen inside the station building now.
Especially the one using stained glass is impressive.
The photos is installed in Tokyo Metro stations.
Generally, many of stained glass is in the church.
The purpose is visible to reproduce and spread the world view of the Bible.
In addition, it is said that “God is light” in John I 1: 5 of the New Testament, and it is also for letting light pass through the church and for interacting with God in the light.
It is often concrete in contrast to the abstract thing of light (although it may be difficult to make abstractly).
However, if anything, it feels like being a remnant of the former Soviet Union.
It may be because there is no sense of religion.
In the era of Soviet union, what the country wanted for art in general was “easiness to understand” to inspire workers (= socialist realism).
In that sense, the stained glass seen in Tokyo Metro may have a strong concrete element like that of Russia.
Although they have different purposes, they may have something in common in that they are more broadly impressed and attracted to “viewers (including overseas)”.
Walk in the “Light” is…
Stained glass means “colored glass”.
Therefore, it allows light to pass through like glass.
“Walk in the light while there is light”
This is the novel of the same name by Russian literary master Tolstoy.
There is such a word in it.
There are no small or large ones, just straight ones and bent ones.“Walk in the light while there is light” by Tolstoy
Enter the straight path of life.
What is the light passing through the colored glass illuminating now?
Only in the light can people get a view and begin to feel the colors of the world.
It may be that we have no choice but to look at the world that reflects the present, walk (= do our best), and leave things beyond our reach into time or history.
Even if the Olympics aren’t held, those sweats and tears will continue to shine above all, like the team that wept when they couldn’t go to Moscow 41 years ago.
Relation with Tokyo and Moscow, stained glass in each subway
By the way,what the capitals of both countries, Moscow and Tokyo, have in common is that the historic subway has a stained glass color.
It is the establishment of Moscow Metro was in 1935, the one of Tokyo Metro was from 2004, but it can be back to the era of the Teito Rapid Transit Authority in 1941.
There is also a subway (one of the Los Angeles Metro Rails) in Los Angeles, but it opened in 1990, which is a little short in history, and it’s been a while since the Los Angels Olympics in 1984.
Comparing to these, feeling that Japanese stained glass is treated as an representation technique that emphasizes “reproducibility of the original picture” rather than being somewhat concrete.
Public art of Japan is peaceful and easy to connect with transportation
Actually, there are several museums related to stained glass in Japan.
- Otaru Art Base Stained Glass Museum (former Takahashi Warehouse)
- Nasu Shiobara Stained Glass Museum
- Izu Kogen Stained Glass Museum
- Yufuin Stained Glass Museum
There are more than the above four in Japan.
And it may be that the technique of stained glass has gained considerable citizenship as one of the artistic representation.
What they have in common is the “color vividness” peculiar to glass.
When it fits in the “inside”, the people in the space are surrounded by light.
The world has a somewhat solemn impression as well.
God is light, it’s like the “sun” in the daytime.
On the other hand, in the subway, it may be something like “the moon” that illuminated the underground space.
The main purpose of taking the subway is “to move“.
“Can you spend your time comfortably?”
“Can you get to your destination quickly?”, and so on.
To appreciate or taste is subsidiary.
If so, the color inserted into the space may neutralize the practicability from the one.
Public means “directing to more people’s possession“.
Where do people come from and where do they flow, or the flow itself.
What do people think of the kind light?
At that time, empathy or even inorganic feelings may be revealed.
In a subway-like place visited by various people, it may be inevitable that it will become a symbolic and more familiar representation of the area.
The other land rails (JR and private railways etc) is…
From the point of view, it seems that it is not only limited to the subway like Tokyo Metro, but also JR, private railways, etc.
In fact it is located all over the country.
Feeling that it is rare that they exist in different points in Japan
So it may be regarded as “Japanese style”.
You can find many stations that use stained glass, not limited to the stations introduced and the main stations in each prefecture.
Being sure that twilight is comfortable to illuminate the “margins” of time for a while.
About Airports, and particularly in Miyazaki “Mythical Stained Glass”…
The same thing was seen at the empty entrance of Airport.
At Miyazaki “Bougainvillea” Airport, there is a huge stained glass with a glass surface of 3 meters in length and 21 meters in width.
The theme is about “Hyuga mythology”.
The Hyuga mythology is the three generations story about Amaterasu Omikami, her son named Ninigi-no-Mikoto, and her grandson.
She was born when Izanagi Nomikoto went performing with water.
Ninigi-no-Mikoto descended to Mt. Takachiho at the behest of her.
There are various theories, but it is said that Izanagi’s performing was held in Kyushu island,where is in Miyazaki prefecture.
At that time, not only Amaterasu Omikami [=天照大神],
but also Susano-o-no-Mikoto[=須佐之男命] and Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto[=月読命] were born.
Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto[＝月読命]is in the stained glass.
In contrast to Amaterasu Omikami, who she is the ancestral and female sun god, Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto is said to be the male moon god.
Yes, there was the “moon” in Hinata (Hyuga) of Japan.
*Hinata means sun by Japanese.
And both “Hyuga” and “Hinata” use the same chinese character “日向”, is just different how to say.
Sun and Moon, Light and Shadow, contrast and fusion were represented just like “Yaoyorozu”(that indicates there’re “many gods” in Japan) in the stained glass derived by the world-famous shadow puppet artist.
Perhaps being paying attention only to the design and location, but as the name of stained glass (Stained = meaning that the color is sunk), all colors may represent “people”.
That must be “walking in the light while there is light”.