He gets lost in a "unique maze" that only he can see. The unique world created by author Yu Takada [Unique Communication #12]

"Isai Tsuushin" is a column introducing artists brought to you by Marie ( @Marie_heralbony ), the Isai Evangelist. In addition to the appeal of the works produced by Isai artists, we will deliver it in a chatty style, including wonderful experiences born from the interaction between Heralbony and Isai artists. For all of you who "love the unusual". We will support your tomorrow with content that will help you relax and give you energy.

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I still remember the mysterious feeling I had when I entered the maze in a large park as a child.

Because of my small body, the walls on both sides seemed high and thick, and I felt a mixture of anxiety that I might never be able to get out, and excitement as I desperately searched for my goal, as if I had wandered into a story in a picture book.

The protagonist of this issue of Isai Tsuushin is Yu Takada, an entertainer who continues to draw his own unique mazes. Through Takada's work, we would like to take you, as an adult, to the maze play of your dreams.

Entrances and exits don't have to be edges

Yu Takada, an unusual artist with Down's syndrome, has been creating the "Maze" series for over 10 years. At first glance, the series appears to be made up of randomly drawn shapes, but they are in fact mazes with proper entrances and exits.

Staff: "Where is the entrance?" Takada: "Here."
Staff: "Where's the exit?" Takada: "Here." Takada taught us that the entrance and exit are not always at the edge. What exactly is common sense? Where is the entrance and where is the exit? Looking at Takada's works while imagining this is one of the unique ways to enjoy them.

Disneyland as seen through Takada's eyes

I once had the opportunity to speak to Takada himself, who told me that a "parade" takes place inside the maze, and that people can move around on an "Aladdin's carpet."

As you can probably tell from the phrases "parade" and "magic carpet," Takada is a unique artist who is a huge Disney fan. These mazes were inspired by the world of Disneyland.

He often goes to Disneyland, and among his favorites are "Pooh's Hunny Hunt" and "Cinderella Castle." Takada-san seems to enjoy drawing mazes, letting his imagination run wild, creating his favorite Disney world, and following the dreamlike scenery.
"maze" Now that we have experienced the unconstrained and endlessly free world of Takada, let's take a look at his work "Parade."
"parade" The image that comes to mind is of dancers in dazzling costumes singing and dancing through a maze at night, emitting a mysterious light, accompanied by a joyous musical ensemble.

Takada's painting of "Disneyland at Night" is striking with its vivid yellow-green color.
"Disneyland at night" The colorful lights that decorate the attractions and shops brighten up even the darkest night sky like daytime, conveying the fun atmosphere of Disneyland.

When I was a child, Disneyland at night was a special place for me. I remember the excitement of being able to play outside until late at night and the beautiful scenery with its glittering neon lights making my heart pound. I'm sure it must have been the same for Takada-san.

Takada's world overturns the preconceived notion that "maze = flat surface"

It's not just the location of the exits and entrances that is surprising. If you look closely at the mazes that Takada draws, you'll see that another maze is faintly emerging from the background.

"maze" According to the facility, Takada sometimes paints over a maze he has already drawn and continues to draw a new one on top of it. Furthermore, when talking with him, it was revealed that he was actually drawing a two-story maze.

Takada's world overturns the preconceived notion that a maze is a flat surface. It would not be strange if there were three or even four-story mazes. Before we knew it, we were comfortably lost in an original maze where the barrier of common sense had been removed.

I want to mutter something funny and make people laugh.

Takada is also a born entertainer who loves to entertain those around him.

In the Natural Life Club that she belongs to, physical expression activities are very active and she plays a central role in the taiko drumming of the Dengaku dance.

Takada (right) playing the drums
After the drumming, they performed a dance with flowers in their hands.
Takada looks happy as applause breaks out after the performance. He says that even in his everyday life, he likes to make other people laugh and entertain them. Rather than actively trying to make people laugh, Takada's style is to quietly say funny things.

Perhaps the reason he draws mazes is not just because it's fun for him, but also because he wants the viewer to get lost in this fun world.

Let's take a peek into the world that only they can see.


The mazes that Takada draws can teach us a lot.

Everyone can enjoy and entertain each other as individuals, without any prejudices or restrictions such as "because they have Down syndrome" or "because they have autism."

And everyone has their own limitations, or they limit their thinking without being told to do so by anyone. Takada's free and unrestrained ideas and individuality can actually loosen up our rigid thinking and enrich our hearts.
Through their expressions, let's take a peek at the dazzling and free-flowing world that only they can see. I'm sure they will make you realize that people can be so diverse and so interesting in this homogenized society.

HERALBONY will continue to work to create a world where everyone can live as they are, as irreplaceable individuals, beyond the boundaries of "autism," "Down syndrome," and "disabilities."

Takada Yu's "Maze" is available as a limited edition necktie

At HERALBONY, we have named the period spanning World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st and World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd as HERALBONY BUDDY WEEK.
>Special page is here

During this time, as Isai's "buddy," we will be accompanying him and raising awareness of "autism" and "Down syndrome" among many people. In order to raise awareness of "autism" and "Down syndrome," we are re-releasing and selling limited edition neckties that faithfully reproduce Takada's art as a limited product this year. Wear the art of Isai artists and move towards a future where everyone can live comfortably.

Products featuring this artist's work

Bowtie blouse "Maze" | Shirt blouse "Maze"
"Maze" original artwork | "Maze" original artwork (on sale until the end of June)

Yu Takada

Member of Shizensei Club (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Born in Tokyo. While attending Ina Special Needs School High School, he participated in the Shizensei Club's taiko workshops and demonstrated his outstanding sense of rhythm. He became a member of the Shizensei Club in 2001 and has been involved in expressive activities such as farm work, painting and dance, and has also participated in overseas performances in Belgium, Hong Kong and Denmark. He plays a central role in the taiko drumming of Dengakumai. Despite having Down's syndrome and suffering from health concerns, he continues to expand the scope of his expression with his rich sensitivity and imagination. In the fall of 2013, he held a solo exhibition, "Labyrinth of Colors."

Edited by: Tomoyo Akasaka
Text: Marie Kitamura (Heralbony)