Palace in the Sky



Leete Latobarita Uruth Ariaroth Bal Netoreel.

Design: Yosiyasu Saito

The Constitution of Japan
Article 1. The Palace in the Sky shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving its position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.

第一条 ラピュタは、日本国の象徴であり日本国民統合の象徴であつて、この地位は、主権の存する日本国民の総意に基く。


The city I am talking about (Tokyo) offers this precious paradox: it does possess a center, but this center is empty. The entire city turns around a site both forbidden and indifferent, a residence concealed beneath foliage, protected by moats, inhabited by an emperor who is never seen, which is to say, literally, by no one knows who. Daily, in their rapid, energetic, bullet-like trajectories, the taxis avoid this circle, whose low crest, the visible form of invisibility, hides the sacred ”nothing.” One of the two most powerful cities of modernity is thereby built around an opaque ring of walls, streams, roofs, and trees whose own center is no more than an evaporated notion, subsisting here, not in order to irradiate power, but to give to the entire urban movement the support of its central emptiness, forcing the traffiL to make a perpetual detour. In this manner , we are told, the system of the imaginary is spread circularly, by detours and returns the length of an empty subject.

Roland Barthes “Empire of Signs”

Their heads were all reclined, either to the right, or the left; one of their eyes turned inward, and the other directly up to the zenith.

With these bladders, they now and then flapped the mouths and ears of those who stood near them, of which practice I could not then conceive the meaning. It seems the minds of these people are so taken up with intense speculations, that they neither can speak, nor attend to the discourses of others, without being roused by some external taction upon the organs of speech and hearing; for which reason, those persons who are able to afford it always keep a flapper (the original is climenole) in their family, as one of their domestics; nor ever walk abroad, or make visits, without him. And the business of this officer is, when two, three, or more persons are in company, gently to strike with his bladder the mouth of him who is to speak, and the right ear of him or them to whom the speaker addresses himself.

They are very bad reasoners, and vehemently given to opposition, unless when they happen to be of the right opinion, which is seldom their case. Imagination, fancy, and invention, they are wholly strangers to, nor have any words in their language, by which those ideas can be expressed; the whole compass of their thoughts and mind being shut up within the two forementioned sciences.

Jonathan Swift “Gulliver’s Travels”

The public space protected by Laputa. We must share emptiness under Laputa. Only the emptiness is a shelter that protects the world from catastrophe. The emptiness merge nature and science organically. All problems have been unanswered.