Wasabi Stories vol.33: “Forgiving is Life Itself”


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“Forgiving is Life Itself”

Today’s storyteller is a famous Japanese water color painter [W:Mitsumasa Anno].

He is best known as an author of children’s books.

The story is about “black cat and life”.

It’s a strange combination but they are somehow related each other for him.

It must have happened to anyone but when he accidentally spotted his painting with a drop of black ink, he calmly paints something over it such as a black tree or a black cat passing.

Although when he covered a spot with a black cat, he gets anxious about it next day, contrary to his intention to ignore it.

First he thought “I did it well” and later, he starts regretting having painted a black cat, and ends in failure.

Also he makes another critical mistake, which is that when he engraves his seal (as a signature), he accidentally stamps upside down.

After all the hard work, it’s simple but critical mistake at the very end.

There are some works stamped upside down, so he asked a Chinese engraver how they handle it.

According to the engraver, the moment the artist engraves is “the only once in lifetime”, and Anno interprets the word that “failure is also a frame of the process”.

Anno’s words

“One can’t live if failure is never allowed. ‘Forgiving’ is life after all. As many things are so, painting is also life.”

The NIKKEI May/7/2009 by Mitsumasa Anno (water color painter)


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