I am an aesthetics researcher with roots in French aestheticism, focusing on art and the body. Particularly in recent years, I have been carrying out research and practice examining art concerned with taste and smell.
I began my research by building on M. Merleau-Ponty and H. Bergson’s theories of the body and E. Levinas’ theory of the other. Beginning in 2000, I developed a deep interest in the traditional Japanese art of Kôdô, “the way of the fragrance,” and I have since been practicing it myself. Kôdô is the only traditional art in the world to have elevated fragrance to the level of art, and while it flourished during the 15th century alongside the tea ceremony and flower arrangement, it is a little-known art form, even in Japan.
In 2011, I accepted a post at Kyoto Saga University of Arts, working as a teacher at a site where real artistic practice is constantly taking place. In this position, I have presided over a smell and taste research society and established a research society for teaching staff. Additionally, I launched the Perfume Art Project, allowing students to incorporate fragrance into their art, and I have also facilitated the exchange of fragrance art between students in Japan and France, visiting France several times myself. Both France, which recognizes the artistry of perfume, and Kyoto, the birthplace of the world’s first fragrance art, possess incredible sensibilities when it comes to fragrance. Exchanges between these two countries proved to be an intriguing experiment that highlighted the differences in each country’s attitude toward fragrance. Since 2015, I have participated in such activities as an exhibition coordinator, facilitating successful exchange between Japan and France. (See http://www.perfumeartproject.com/)