10dence gallery - multi-disciplinairy expressions of art

Susumu Ohira - Japan

Susumu Ohira – Japan - My Prayer


My prayer: Die in spring beneath the cherry blossoms.

A skull generally reminds people of death, and I feel the presence of death lingering around me. Once being born, I am destined to die at a time when death ceases lingering and moves towards me. I love cherry blossoms. A famous Japanese novelist, Motojiro Kajii (1901-1932), wrote, “a dead body is buried under a cherry tree” in a short story. Cherry blossoms are so mysteriously beautiful, especially at night, as to make readers believe his words. My favorite poet, Saigyo (1118-1190), wrote, “I wish I could die amidst the flowers in spring, on a day of the full moon in February (in the lunar calendar)” in a poem. The flowers in the poem are cherry blossoms. In Japan, the term, cherry blossom front, means the forecast of cherry blossom season coming from the south, around the end of March, to the north, around the end of April, much like a weather forecast. Viewing cherry blossoms is generally an annual event for people in Japan. I have enjoyed viewing cherry blossoms with the same people for more than twenty years. Each year, I ask them, “Can I enjoy cherry blossoms with you next year?” I wish I could come to the end of my life, which will be in the not-so-distant future, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom as in Saigyo’s poem. If I could, I want to return to the natural world under cherry blossoms in the snowy moonlight (雪月花 Setsu gekka).


Susumu Ohira - My prayer – mixed media - 29x33x30 cm


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