Japan has been on my mind a lot lately. On our walks, Laura and I would sometime kvetch about the inconveniences of our life on Awaji Island and the struggles we had with the culture and language differences. We agreed that we would never want to 'live' there. Now that I am home for six weeks and have been overwhelmed by 'real' life I can think of nothing I would rather do more than return to my life on Awaji Island where the focus of every day was working in the studio. Truly, the most difficult adjustment I've had to make since returning home has been going from mono-focus (moku hanga) to multi-focus, (day-job, home, divorce, holidays, bills). The time I've spent with my three wonderful children has been the bright spot in this difficult period of adjustment.
Japan has been on my mind for another reason also. I recently learned that one of my moku hanga teachers, Takade-sensei, passed away on the last day of 2009. Just the other day I was going through objects and mementos from my recent days in Japan (yes, I am still unpacking) and I took time to admire the print he made for us during his demonstration. He was a patient sensei, a kind and generous man. The outpouring of condolences and support from the Nagasawa Art Park Program Alumni has been astounding. Takade-sensei's gentle and generous spirit touched many lives. I feel blessed at having had the opportunity to learn from him. Farewell, kind sensei.