Taimyo, July 2007 in Nanjing conference

Dear Taimyo Brothers & Sisters:
Just arrived in Tokyo this afternoon.
Masashi Minagawa is next of me!
We are hosted by Seiichi Nakamura for our over night stay at his apartment in Aoto.
We will fly out of Narita tomorrow morning, fly into Shanghai in the afternoon. Should be in Nanjing, China by the evening!

For a long time, in doing Part I of Taimyo, I have held the image of myself as a commander on a battlefield. But as I prepare to leave for Nanjing this week, I am experiencing a new setting

In the 1990s Master Aoki designed Taimyo as a comprehensive expression of his creative activities. From the beginning of this century, I have been traveling the world, teaching Taimyo as a peace activist. And this autumn when I do Taimyo Part I, I see myself as a farmer planting seeds of peace.

Here is the way it feels to me at this point.

Kanki: The farmer doing morning meditation
Reppaku (Oh): The farmer planting seeds
Reppaku (Ei): The farmer checking the field
Saizan: The farmer returning from the field after finishing work
Yoshin: The farmer doing self-care before going to bed
Tenshingoso: The farmer expressing gratitude to heaven and earth at harvest

Looking back, I remember in the Rakutenkai days that Master Aoki told us, “As a painter, I want to create something in my life, even just once, on par with Jean-Francois Millet’s “The Angelus” or “Potato Planters”! As a young man, I didn’t know the first thing about Western art, and simply honored Aoki-senpai as a great karate practitioner. But when he said that, even I was impressed (“Hey, this guy is really SERIOUS.”)

In Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams” from last year, there is a scene where the husband Hiroshi is appreciating a painting by van Gogh, and suddenly van Gogh steps out of the framed painting and begins to tell him a story.

I am a vessel for Master Aoki’s creation around the world. But more than that, it is my hope for myself and for all of you that Taimyo will continue to grow us into true humanity and help each one of us become the “real me” and the “real you.”