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Japan – from art to life – precision and intentionality by Misha Lyuve

Mar 20, 2011
I strongly feel that one of the ways of holding Japan’s spirit in these tough days is to continue exploring its culture.

The Japanese Art Dealers Association exhibition, small and intimate, allowed me to emmerse into the spirit and culture of Japan. Especially I got fascinated by the two works of Katsushika Hokusai, an 18-19 century painter who was one of the first to become famous and influential in the West. 

Hokusai was completely obsessed with the mount Fuji and created a well-known cycle of thirty-six views of it.  He also  changed his name 30 times during his life: the transformation of style and production of his work was very much tied to transformation of his persona and a name change. 

Fuji in clear weather

Sekiya village by the Sumida River

As I was absorbing his work and other art pieces, I couldn’t help but notice the precision and intentionality that were expressed in the details of clouds, trees, patterns of people’s clothes, grass and texture. Isn’t that what Japanese are known for in the modern life? — electronics, robotics, car-making, medical devices – all require a mastery of intentionality and precision. In fact, experts agree that not many places in the world would take magnitude 9.0 earthquake with as much grace as Japan (read about Japan’s  building code and see the video below), even given many thing that went unexpected.  

 

One thing that I am confident about is that the Japanese will restore their country. But for now, if you would like to double your donations, here are some easy ways to do it.

Interruptions by Misha Lyuve

Mar 14, 2011

“if the world changed, i could not exist, and if i changed, the world could not exist” — Yukio Mishima (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)  

Just as the world got snug on a sofa watching Charlie Sheen’s eruptions, the mother nature has sent another reminder that it has powers to quickly disrupt our lives and plans. And for those of us who appreciate justice, it is exemplary non-discriminatory:  rich and poor, skinny and fat, successful and losers, right and left wing – in the midst of disasters all turn equal, except probably for the lucky ones. So you think we are holding on to our handbags and opinions tightly enough?    

I haven’t experienced an earthquake or tsunami personally, but with a quantity of information coming, I get some idea of how it might be in the midst of it. And for us who are not right there, these events still cause an interruption; and an interruption creates an opening for questions.    

Like for instance, when Earth decides to move its tectonic plates (that causes earthquakes), it does it to fulfill its own needs (like when my body decides to sneeze) – so does humanity just get caught up in the aftermath (like we all have been sneezed on)?  Or is the nature using disasters to respond to us with a sign of furry or a scream for help?  If all this is a part of a big divine plan that I am incapable of comprehending, what is the value of human life in that plan?   

  

One thing is clear: whatever the attachment we have to our material possessions, it dissipates fast when one is trying to survive. But I wonder, if I were lucky to have a few minutes to choose one extra thing to take with me on that survival trip, what would it be? What would it be for you?      

(link to the Yoko Furusho's fundraiser for Japan)