top of page

Unveiling the Stories that Shape My Art

I am thrilled to embark on this literary journey with you, sharing the stories that have profoundly shaped my creative path. These tales have been my companions since childhood, their enduring influence shaping the very essence of my artistic expression.



The Message I Want to Convey Through My Creations


The message I aim to convey through my work is the "preciousness of life." I strive to visualize the preciousness of life and draw the audience into a realm of life that transcends this world. From a young age, I often pondered deeply about life. When I thought about the people who suffered and died throughout human history, it sometimes overwhelmed me.



Humanity and the Enchantment of Nature


The ability to perceive and appreciate the beauty of nature is a hallmark of human experience. This profound connection inspires me to create art that affirms our existence and celebrates the preciousness of life and the natural world.




Influential Stories that Shaped My Vision


These deeply held beliefs were nurtured by the stories and films that filled my childhood. Today, I'd like to introduce you to two significant influences: the Studio Ghibli’s works and the fairy tales and novels of Kenji Miyazawa.



Studio Ghibli’s Works


The works of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, the masterminds behind Studio Ghibli, are celebrated worldwide. Like many in my generation, I grew up immersed in these fantastical tales. Through Ghibli's films, we learned about the devastating consequences of violence and prejudice, while simultaneously cultivating a deep respect for the natural world.



"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind"  『風の谷のナウシカ』


Choosing a single favorite Ghibli film is a near-impossible task. However, if pressed, I would have to select "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind." Recently, I've embarked on a journey of rediscovering this masterpiece by rereading the original manga from the beginning. While the film is breathtaking, the manga delves even deeper into philosophical themes.


Set in a dystopian future, "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" paints a world ravaged by war and shrouded in a toxic forest known as the Sea of Decay. This poisonous landscape is teeming with strange, mutated ecosystems, a consequence of humanity's destructive tendencies. The story follows Nausicaä, a courageous princess who possesses a deep understanding and respect for nature. She embarks on a quest to find a path for humans and nature to coexist peacefully, challenging the dominant forces that perpetuate conflict and environmental destruction.


Through this powerful narrative, I felt the anxieties of a generation grappling with the threat of nuclear war and environmental destruction during the time of the manga's serialization (1982). Nausicaä's journey resonated deeply, teaching me about the delicate balance of the natural world, the interconnectedness of life, and the importance of fostering harmony between humanity and nature.


Furthermore, I consider that "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is considered a pivotal work that challenged the perception of manga as mere children's entertainment, elevating it to the realm of serious literature.





Kenji Miyazawa's Enchanting Fairy Tales


Kenji Miyazawa, a prominent Japanese writer of the early 20th century, continues to captivate readers with his fantastical fairy tales and novels even today. His works are a staple in Japanese language education, and it is fair to say that every Japanese person knows his stories. As a child, I spent summers visiting my grandparents in Iwate Prefecture, the very same region where Miyazawa lived and found inspiration. Through his evocative prose, I embarked on journeys through the breathtaking landscapes of Tohoku, absorbing the beauty of this region, which continues to influence my artistic vision.



"Night of the Milky Way Railway” 『銀河鉄道の夜』


Among Miyazawa's enchanting tales, "Night of the Milky Way Railway" holds a special place in my heart. Written around 1924, it follows the fantastical journey of Giovanni and his friend Campanella aboard a train traversing the Milky Way. As they travel, they encounter a diverse cast of characters, prompting Giovanni to contemplate the true meaning of happiness and the impermanence of life. Gradually, it is revealed to be a train transporting the deceased to the afterlife.

I feel that it is a beautiful story where sorrow sublimates into tranquility.


As a child, whenever I looked at the night sky, I imagined a train carrying the dead running along the Milky Way. In that imagination, I felt that death was not a negative concept but something that emitted a mysterious light akin to hope.




"The Ten Powered Diamond” 『十力の金剛石』


Another captivating tale by him is "The Ten Powered Diamond.”

This short yet profound story follows a young prince and his retainer on a quest to find gems at the foot of a rainbow. Throughout their search, the forest creatures lament the absence of 'The Ten Powered Diamond' in their songs, expressing a sense of despair and longing. As the story unfolds, the prince and his retainer discover a profound truth: the 'The Ten Powered Diamond' is not a physical object but the very essence of life itself – the dew that nourishes all living things.

The dew permeates all life, and they recognize that everything they possess and even themselves are the precious 'The Ten Powered Diamond' bringing them to tears.


Kenji's masterful use of onomatopoeia and rhythmic poetry throughout the story transports readers into the heart of the forest, allowing them to experience the essence of water beyond its mere physical form.

His words, rhythm, and vivid descriptions capture the "blessings of nature" with remarkable authenticity.




 


The works introduced here, except for "The Ten Powered Diamond," are also available in English, so please read them if you have the chance. These stories continue to have a profound impact on my creative work.







Comments


bottom of page