Since 2013, Akari-Lisa Ishii has been creating Nagano Toumyou Festival’s opening ceremony. Produced by Motoko Ishii, this 17th edition always has “the peace” as its fundamental theme, but it also celebrates 2020, the Olympic year for Tokyo! We are thus returning to the origin of the festival that was created to commemorate Nagano Winter Olympic Games. A full circle completed :)
This year, not just one but two temples were lit up - the second in the neighbor town Ueda, which also started its own festival. Traditionally, pilgrims go from one to another. The light also followed it.
The first day, the Zenko-ji temple’s main hall was light in gold and color light and laser beams drew athletes of the Summer Olympics sports and medal motifs on its Sanmon gate. Archers, basketball players, judokas ... succeeded one after another and ended up with a message of peace on the sanctuary, facing the south.
The day after, Bessho-onsen’s Kitamuki-Kannon temple in the city of Ueda (facing the north) was illuminated by bluish light with a golden accent at the top as if the light thrown from Nagano reached there. The place being also a natural spa, after 30 min. in blue, the light scenario turns to green and red, to express the 3 Paralympic colors. Specially fabricated ice lanterns magnified its access staircase.
After these beautiful opening ceremonies, accompanied by samurai, ninjas and traditional "taiko" drums, festivals continued for 5 days.
: Nagano JC
Collaboration : Motoko Ishii Lighting Design
Dates : 2020
Light and sound show