I like a town that appears white from a distance, and I also like to see a window in the distance. They are both something beautiful to me. They remind me that behind every window in every town, there is life, family, and a worldly existence. I suppose that these things look beautiful as an entirety, too. Indeed, a human appears uniquely beautiful observed from high above, where small virtues and little sins are invisible.
While I rarely discuss it, my life's emotional and spiritual influences are deeply rooted in my childhood experience of the atomic bomb explosion in Nagasaki. Indeed, I am classified in the special category established for those who entered certain areas adjacent to the center of the explosion site within a specific time frame. We had entered the area two days after the explosion. Four of us, my father, two sisters and I went toward the center of the explosion, pulling a cart. We did not understand how dangerous the radiation was; we went there to find our relatives. My father and two sisters have since passed away at much younger ages than would be expected. We don't know if the radiation was the direct cause, but I am the sole survivor of the four who went to the site. All I saw was a world of death... people, animals, everything... dead. Extending from under a zinc board, I saw the palm of a baby's hand which should have been fair in color but was scorched black. In the midst of this world of death, a rescue squad gave me a big white rice ball to eat. It was a world apart from the immediate environment. It gave me hope. I am still in wonder about it, and often reflect on how a small and seemingly insignificant gesture or thing can bring hope and inspiration.
Mr. Tenshin Okakura was a spiritual leader of an art community in Japan during the Meiji period in the later 19th century. He wrote "A Book of Tea," which was very influential on me, it spoke clearly to my intellect and that of my colleagues, such that we made a copy of his book and used it as our "textbook". We had many discussions regarding it and Mr. Okakura's philosophies that were often used as our platform, indeed as our intellectual guide. These observations became to be known among us as "Teaisms", thoughts that inculcate purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.
As for my artistic intellect, I am reminded of a writer's comment during the Ming period that is true of all our artistic efforts; "All the threads can be seen but not the color coordination or the design itself."