Kyoto's Takase River is a narrow canal that runs parallel to Kiyamachi Dori (street) from Nijo-Kiyamachi down to Fushimi, in southern Kyoto. It dates from 1611.
It has willow trees on one side and is quite graceful, no matter how out of hand the nighttime revelry may get on Kiyamachi itself.
In the last couple of years, the canal has also served as a venue for outdoor art exhibits.
Last fall, sculptures suddenly blossomed in the shallow waters. The name of the work, an odd English translation, and the name of the artist were posted on small signs next to each of the many pieces.
Now, once again, the river is growing art.
Kiyamachi is one of Kyoto's best known nightlife areas, with bars and restaurants and brothels and boutiques. At night, students and young people and lovers fill the narrow streets.
During the day, though, the the street is quiet. Around noon, delivery trucks arrive with the vegetables and meat, beer and spirits that the bars and pubs will serve that night.
A few salaryman with time on their hands gazed at the works, expressionless.
Come evening, the drunks and college students - perhaps with livelier expressions - pay even less notice.
The works include statuary, abstract art, large insects, and others.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009