Cutting out Ghosts Text

Cutting out Ghosts

~Experiment with abstract thinking and acting~


In Japan, it’s often seen that people use paper tools at the scene to contact with invisible existence. To feel them, to communicate with them, paper has been used in various ways from ancient time.

At this workshop, I want to assume that the weight of soul is 21.262g from the experiment of Dr. Duncan MacDougall in the early 1900s who attempt to measure the mass lost by human when the soul departed the body at death. Cutting the paper into the shape of 21g imagining about someone who has passed, I hope this workshop would be an opportunity to consider about soul from another point of view.


a. Introduction

Please discuss about topics below with each other. (about 10 mins)

1: Do you think dark matter which is believed to make up 90% of the universe influence our daily life? Do you think it is perceptible?

*dark matter / dark energy

“The standard model of cosmology indicates that the total mass–energy of the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy. Thus, dark matter constitutes 84.5% of total mass, while dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95.1% of total mass–energy content.”, wikipedia

2: Have you ever felt any invisible existence? What was it like?

3: Do you think “soul” exists? Please answer with the reason.

4: What do you think about Heaven and Hell which is drawn in many religions?

5: Have you ever consider about death? How did you find?

6: Do you think there are something left after the death? (body, memories, and others)

b. Breath deeply for 2 minutes and have a silent time to empty your mind.

c. Keeping deep breath, look at the paper. Remember about a person(or an animal) who has been passed.

*Tracing your memories, please wait with quiet mind until your turn comes.

d. Aware of the image, cut the paper intuitively into the shape of 21g in one stroke. (Try not to think anything(shape etc…) as much as possible. Just concentrate to your feeling or images that you have at that time.)

e. Measure the paper you cut off, and write down the weight of it, the name and the date he or she of the person or animal that you imagined. Your name as well.

*If you don’t know or don’t want to show, write abstractly.

f. On the rest of the paper, please write down your feeling, images and memories you reminded of while cutting the paper consicely with your name.

Thank you.