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SAKAGUCHI Kyohei: Manic-depressive genius decided to start a new government. 坂口恭平:躁鬱の天才が新政府を始める事にした。



Meet SAKAGUCHI Kyohei.

If you feel like killing yourself, give me a call.


He is an architect who doesn't build. He is a writer, an artist, a speaker, a musician, a photographer, an innovator, an activist, a humanist, a rakugo-ka (traditional Japanese solo-storytelling comedian), a father, husband, and believe it or not, the prime minister of a newly built country (within the boarders of Japan).

He continues to surprise the world with his constant output of work. You may just never meet, or read about anyone quite like him. He will reinterpret your view on many facets of life from living quarters and art, to the economy, depression and the "homeless". He currently lives in Kumamoto, Kyushu Japan, but his "independent nation" spans all the way to Ginza, Tokyo. Out of the many up-and-coming radical and revolutionary artists of Japan, he is one of the most enduring, practical and sincere of them all.

He started his career by doing research on the urban "street dwellers" of the modern "anonymous" metropolises of Japan. After his publication of "Zero Yen House", a photo-book on their homes, he gained a heated following in Europe where they welcomed him as an artist. Recently, while taking care of his two children, he is writing away banging out new materials, giving talks, creating music, running a suicide prevention hotline and administering his newly erected government.




Build Your Own Independent Nation was first published in Japan in May of 2012. Although written by virtually unknown author Kyohei Sakaguchi, at age 34, this blunt title went on to sell over 50,000 copies (currently over 90,000) within the year and became a best-seller in Japan.


The significance of Japan needs no explanation. The 2011 earthquake and the catastrophes that followed were a blatant and painful realization to many of the countries citizens. The realization that we had truly hit the extreme – the extreme that so many for so many years had believed to be modern advancement.


However, word about Japan’s inner social turbulence seems to not have spread as much as the nuclear debris has. Facts surrounding the catastrophe, the clean up and the relief, let alone the sharing of methods for dealing with these life changing developments, are scarce, both oversees and domestically. This is largely because of the language barrier, or rather communication barrier.


Due to this limiting factor, Japan has been — both positively and negatively — an isolated place. Whether we are aware or not, or if we even like it or not, Japan has been assigned to take the leading role in the world for post-extreme-“modernization.”


This story is the first person account of Kyohei Sakaguchi’s attempts in maintaining a conscious living. It should be safe to say that the majority of us have been living on subconscious and anonymous layers for way too long; to the point where the word “herd” seems outdated. The false sense of security that the “herd” provides continues to reveal itself as an illusion. The many things in our lives that work against our wellbeing, ranging from pollution to restricting politics that ignore human rights, are — as explained in the book — the results of us "living without thinking."


This self-declared prime minister of his own independent nation let out a cry to which 50,000 instantly reacted to. Sakaguchi puts his whole life on twitter. The following was natural phenomenon on its own. His communication skills, expressive attitude and dedication to those in need leave readers and viewers numb in awe. A shift in consciousness is inevitable, as we saw in July 2013 when the young musician Yohei Miyake, gained over 170,000 votes [again in 2016 gaining 257,036 votes] during his run for congress. The momentum for change is in the air, but it isn’t as easy as it could be.


Is opposition necessary in revolution? In history we have seen major changes brought about by revolts and uprisings in power. But this time the revolution is a creative one. In the book, Sakaguchi borrows Kant’s words to talk about surpassing the “adolescent” phase of society.


Japan has proudly produced “made in Japan” gadgets and electronics, aiding the mass “modernization” of mankind. However, these extremely useful products often lead us to overlook their extremely wasteful byproducts. As we clearly know, this accelerated “modernization” is not unique to the islands of Japan. It is world-wide reality. We must set ourselves in the right mind frame in order to hand down our creations to the next generation.


This book will act as your navigational device. It is a look into one man’s inevitable creative revolution. It will strip away the veil that has obscured your view of an idealistic society and re-instill your childhood questions as you realize Sakaguchi writes nothing but common sense. It will change your definition of economy. It will change your perception of the “homeless”. Most of all, it will change the way you participate. The fact that it was written in such a very significant time in Japanese history makes it a must for anyone living in a “modernized” and “anonymous” world.




SAKAGUCHI Kyohei's Build Your Own Independent Nation「独立国家のつくり方」


A book on how he became the Prime Minister of his own independent nation (within Japan).

It tackles everything from the way we live, real estate, and the lives of street dwellers to economics, music, manic-drepressive disorder, and much more.

The English translation is complete and available on Amazon and select shops.

Here is an excerpt from the book that is bound to reel you in.



Excerpt from chapter 1


Dai-chan’s Discovery at the Tama River


   I would like to introduce you to another intriguing street dweller, Dai-chan, one of my best friends. He doesn’t like it when I call him homeless, since he isn’t illegally occupying any public space, and is rightfully residing in his own home.    His house is located between the riverbank and the street that runs alongside Tama River. This piece of land had been on his mind for some time because of the thick grass that invaded the patch. He’s a neat, tidy type of guy and this unkept grass unnerved him. He thought, “This land probably belongs to the ward or the country, someone should come and cut it,” but no one did anything.    Feeling increasingly concerned, Dai-chan decided to give the grassy patch a trim himself. This was a straightforward act of social service; he simply wished to make the city look neater and cleaner. Dai-chan, a street dweller living under a bridge, had already been living on an alternative layer at this point. This piece of land became neat and clean, thanks to him of course. Afterwards, Dai-chan kept an eye on the land, and its neatly-cut grass.    It surely belonged to someone else, but having cut the grass, Dai-chan began to perceive the land more like a friend. His way of looking at the land had changed. He started to wonder if it was an abandoned piece of land - as if it were an orphan, or an unwanted kitten left out in a cardboard box.    Eventually, he began to wonder if the land actually even belonged to anyone at all. And his wonder wasn’t the kind aroused upon finding a loophole of some sort. It was indeed as if he had discovered a lost kitten in need of some care. He went to the legal affairs department, examined the official map of the district, and searched for the owner of the land. He asked around as well, of course. Ultimately, he came to the rather surprising conclusion that this land actually had no owner at all.    Later, after further investigation, Dai-chan found out that this land had long ago been disputed over by the national government, Ota Ward, and a Shintō shrine that stands right in front of it. However, when it proved impossible to reach a decision on whose property it should be, it was eventually given up on and abandoned. To his astonishment, he had discovered a piece of Japanese soil belonging to absolutely no one.    Since it wasn’t in his nature to turn a blind eye on a poor abandoned kitten, Dai-chan decided to live on this piece of land. He has been living here for eight years now. Dai-chan is now the proud parent of this land. And since he looks after it as if it were his own child, no one says a thing.    After witnessing Dai-chan’s relationship with his land, and realizing that ownerless land exists here in Japan, I started walking the city looking for my very own kitten to adopt.    If I’m looking for land,I might as well look where the most expensive ones are, right? I headed straight to Ginza Yonchōme, to the Miharabashi intersection where there was a curious patch of land that I had been wondering about for some time.    On each of the four corners of the intersection are triangular pieces of land that look like government-owned property. Yet there were shop signs and advertisements on them as well, so they seemed to be used for business purposes. That in itself was rather unnatural, but there was something else very strange about the site.    One triangle out of the four had absolutely nothing on it at all. Despite the other ones having an annoying number of things on them. So I decided to conduct some research. As a result, I was able to find that the land’s ownership was in dispute between the national government and Tokyo Metropolis, and it had been left alone and forgotten. Needless to say, this information wasn’t provided by the Tokyo Bureau of Construction. The owner of a bar called “Mihara” in Miharabashi’s underground shopping arcade informed me of this, having researched the mystery himself.    This is how I obtained my own piece of land just as Dai-chan had done. On none other than the Yonchōme of Ginza.




Translation: Corey Turpin, Kaz Egashira.

You can get your hands on a copy of the English book here↓




Build Your Own Independent Nation ENGLISH























































翻訳:Corey Turpin, Kaz Egashira





Build Your Own Independent Nation ENGLISH




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