Tetsuo Kobori



The fear of eternity

I look up at the giant statue of Ramses II from below. The muscular arm and the powerful calf, the gaze watching far of the statue are intriguing. The Temple of Abu Simbel was built by Ramses II and is a rock cave temple made of hollowed out sandstone, also known as “Nubian Ruins”. On the almost square facade, there is a statue of a giant god sitting on four chairs, one of which is Ramses II. Since I came to Egypt, my image of the Egyptian gods changed little by little, and I began to think that architecture began with the fear of human eternity.

Once inside the temple that is dyed in golden and pink, probably because of the color of sandstone, the space is designed to force visitors to pass by the statue of Ramses II, pass through three spaces, and reach the final space. I guess that the composition that converges into a small space as I go deep is because I think that a small place is suitable as a place to protect the king from fear.



Architecture eternity

Along the desert of the city of Meidum, which is located downstream of the Nile, a square Mastaba (a rectangular tomb in ancient Egypt) appeared in one corner. The stereotyped idea that the pyramid is a triangle was broken. It is said that the triangular pyramid collapsed into this shape, but it is more powerful than the triangular pyramid. Looking at the crumbling Meidum’s Mastaba and the steps of Jewel’s Pyramid, I felt that the admiration and cravenness for challenging the architecture limits must have driven the people who built it. How to express eternity in architecture? It is an eternal yearning for those involved in architecture.


In search of the beginning of architecture

I traveled to Egypt!
The reason I go on a journey is because I want to immerse myself in the essential joy of architecture and feel the beginning of architecture in that place. I believe that it will lead to understanding the true meaning of architecture, and the true relationship between humans and architecture, and nature and architecture.




My Spot

My Spot, Winter Kitakama Ridge

“Harmonization of Spirit, Mind and Body is what a human being should be” said mountaineer Reinhold Messner.
“Survival is adventure” said Tsuneo Hasegawa.

On the following day of when Hasegawa got lost in UltarⅡ and came to know Messner’s words, I headed to Northern Alps.I directed myself from Kamikochi to Mount Yarigatake, then arrived at Karasawa in the night.
After getting some water from mountain guards, I pitched a tent in scree, then I saw countless stars made up milky ways and shooting stars in the heavens. Wind was blowing harshly, I went in my tent, lighted a lantern, then relief and warmth had me fall asleep instantly.

In the next morning I went to Northern Hodaka, and it was after two days that I arrived at Mount Yarigatake with going through the deadly Daikiretto Ridge in the midst of Typhoon. Overwhelmed by the view of sky and transformation of the beam of clouds, I felt a lump in my throat and just sank down. By that climbing I certainly became a part of nature and was bitten by the bug of experience of space filled with beam, wind and rocks. As my soul, intelligence and body were exposed to bare natural environment, I came to know clearly what survival means, the weakness of body as well as the sensation of inner calmness.

Later, I met a genius mountaineer D, he taught me the stance of examining things deeply, and steep winter Kitakama Ridge route. Loved Kitakama to the end, D is still sleeping somewhere in Kitakama which he loved the most saying “leave me alone”.

This photograph was taken from a spot height when I climbed Kitakama, I took a lot of photographs aiming to capture the space of complete silence caused by tensed white snow, where the beam was varying constantly.

Now I am estranged from winter mountains, but suddenly the memory with mountaineer D and the atmosphere I felt in Kitakama in that winter crowded in on me when I was privileged to write this essay.

The daybreak from ebony to dark blue, my heart was leaping up “Oh, this could be so called space, thank you D”

Ichijodani in Fukui

The location where the wells remain is like a Japanese version of Pompeii.
The time period is different, but Ichijodani was completely destroyed in three days like Pompeii.
It was mystery why there were still scattered wells even if everything else destroyed.
Usually, one in six households had a well. But in Ichijodani every household has two wells.
At that time, foreign culture came from Mikuni port.
The people in Ichijodani secured domestic distribution by using water transport of Lake Biwa that continued to Kyoto.
Echizen Japanese paper and the textile industry developed and the products were transported all over Japan.
With rare foreign imports coming into Mikuni, It is easy to imagine that this small valley population of 10,000 would become a blossoming advanced culture as one of the leading water and distributors in the country. 
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