Praying and cursing polluters to death – We Make Money Not Art


Mitsutoshi Hanaga Collective of Monks Praying to Destroy House owners of Firms Liable for Environmental Pollution at the Suzuka River in Yokkaichi, 1970. Picture: Mitsutoshi Hanaga Estate

In the 1960s, pollution in Japan brought on the unfold of lethal circumstances these kinds of as the Itai-itai disorder and Yokkaichi bronchial asthma. In spite of scientific investigations, area politicians, bureaucrats and company owners set gains in advance of people’s well being and poisonous industrial waste ongoing to be launched in the ecosystem.

In 1970, a modest group of Buddhist monks, exasperated with the absence of governmental intervention, made a decision to protest. They adopted the name Jusatsu Kito Sodan (Group of Monks Bringing the Curse of Demise) and traveled to some of these contaminating industrial sites. Outfitted with conch instruments and books of curses and incantations, the monks formed a procession, drumming, chanting, praying, and carried out ceremonies with the aim of cursing manufacturing facility entrepreneurs to death.

Hokkaichi asthma sufferer. Photo: Mitsutoshi Hanaga estate

Jusatsu Kito Sodan rituals in motion, 1970. Photo: Mitsutoshi Hanaga estate

Jounalist, reporter and photographer Mitsutoshi Hanaga followed their campaign to doc this early case in point of anti-corporate and anti-governing administration activism.

Jusatsu Kito Sodan fought for religious and bodily retaliation on behalf of the dead, and uncovered injustices in modern society. “The team challenged industrialists with counter-murder makes an attempt, legally thought of as an “impossible crime” that could not be prosecuted in their judiciary procedure.” (by means of)

I found out this intervention when going to Crisis Exit, curated by Ana Mizerit, Bojana Piškur, Zdenka Badovinac and Igor Španjol, at +MSUM in Ljubljana. The demonstrate continues to be open until eventually 11 September 2022


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