The Last Bargain Sale for SUNTOPIA



ワシントン現代藝術センター藝術監督 萬間満

The Last Bargain Sale for SUNTOPIA

An art project intended to recreate the “long waiting line during sale” which was a common site in the glory days of a Japanese fashion building, Mito Suntopia, will be conducted. This scene will be a requiem as well as a dedication to the Suntopia which is going to be demolished. Shall we show dying Suntopia the view of the long waiting line once again? For “Suntopeans” who used to love the Suntopia in old days, and for young people who loved the building modestly — irrespective of age or sex, those who want to join our project, please gather at in front of the Suntopia at noon, August 15. A shaman from America, an authentic place for shamanism, will allow herself be possessed by the spirit of the Suntopia to hold a memorial service. Also, a very trendy present (limited quantity) will be presented for the attendants in thanks from the Suntopia. By the way, this is a rain-or-shine event. Take it, it’s a steal sale!

Michiru Manma (Artistic Director of Washingtown Comtemporary Art Centre)




Suntopia was opened at 1 Chome, Minamimachi, Mito City, Ibaraki in May 26, 1978, as the second oldest fashion building after PARCO at Shibuya. Having not only clothing or accessory shops for young people represented by cutting-edge fashion brand shops in its days such as COMME des GARÇONS & Y’s, but also a café, a music venue, an art material shop, and a book store, etc., in one building, it was eventually considered to be a rather avant-garde attempt for a medium scale local city. During its sale in the 1980s, at the peak of Japanese bubble economy, a waiting line several hundred meters long was created by young people wanting products on sale from within and without the prefecture (so-called “Suntopeans”), which used to be a common site in Mito City. There is an anecdote that because the school absences by local high school students, who went to the sale, became a social issue, the starting time of the sale was actually changed to correspond to the end of the school day. Also, at the music venue “South Core” on the 7th floor, a lot of very popular bands at the time such as “Kome Kome Club” and “Princess Princess” conducted live performances, one after another. However, after the collapse of the bubble economy, Mito City followed a course of decline along with the trend of those times, and Suntopia closed at the end of May 2007. The building had been left as it was without being demolished, however, in May 2016, the demolition work was finally started.