STAY SALTY ...... people here
Delivering Books and Feeding the Future
writer / editor / book selector
The Amazon Chef" is for a sixth-grade boy.
Dad and Me" from Iwanami Shonen Bunko is for a gift.
The new Atsuko Suga" is for that customer who often buys my books.
The time I look at the sales slips always makes me stand tall.
I feel that the books I purchase are now in someone's hands.
What is this certainty of response?
Three years ago, I moved from Tokyo to Nagano, where I have been running a bookstore called "Omusubi Books" in Kita-Karuizawa. Kita-Karuizawa is a plateau area over 1,000 meters above sea level with a view of Mount Asama.
Here is the Ruoms Forest, which has an athletic facility and a 100-year-old Western-style building.
In May 2018, Omusubi Books opened in a room of that Western-style house.
I go to Kita-Karuizawa once a month to replace the shelves in the sales area.
Omusubi Books is a small business with about 500 books in stock.
After two and a half years of doing this, I feel that there is a lot of potential in this modest operation.
With so many books being published every month, what books I stock reflects what is happening in today's society and how I feel at the time.
The location of Kita-Karuizawa, at the foot of Mt. Asama, and the conversations with customers and the staff of Ruoms Forest also influence my decision.
My goal is to create a bookstore where you can feel the expansion of the world just by looking at the books on the shelves, as if you will notice something.
Even just looking at the titles and bindings of the books, there is a change in the mind.
I want to create shelves that allow visitors' minds to flow more freely.
For example, someone who encounters a book in a bookstore will take it home and start reading it at some point.
And when he or she finishes it, he or she has a kind feeling.
The next day, you might say something to someone who seems to be in trouble.
You might feel the news as if it were your own, the kind of news you usually ignore.
The world could change from there.
Omusubi Books has another member working under the name "Salmon" in addition to myself.
We used to work in a small editorial production company in Ginza.
I have many memories of working together on competitions and interviews, but the last part of our days were tumultuous.
The company was dissolving, and my work suddenly became hectic.
Every day I would sit in front of my computer and eat something random, and then roll into the last train as the date changed.
How many times did I run down Ginza Chuo-dori in the middle of the night with salmon?
I want to think slowly about the future, but I'm always so tired and impatient that I don't know where to start. Ah, so everyone is scattered.
Well, I didn't know that beyond those days of madness and confusion, the future of our bookstore together in Kita-Karuizawa would be waiting for us!
In the mansion, the books that salmon and I ordered arrive from the brokerage.
Now, let's arrange the newly arrived books. Books with endless possibilities.
When I look at the books that Salmon ordered, I am amazed at how differently I see the world.
Salmon's order, "Beat the Boredom! (I didn't know there was such a thing as a book) and put my order of "50 Adventures to Do Before 13" next to it.
The title, the binding, the presence of the book in my hands, and the full range of senses to decide where the book shines.
I hope that the shelf will be a place where two different perspectives resonate and feel the diverse world.
We finish laying out our stock of books and drive home.
The Tsumagoi Panorama Line, which I passed along the way, was again a vast cabbage field as far as the eye could see, with mountains beyond it.
The heart-stopping scenery stretched on forever.
In May of this year, work was halted under a declared state of emergency, and my children's nursery school was on hold.
In the midst of all this, I was reading Karel Čapek's A Year in the Life of a Gardener, which Salmon had recommended to me.
I can't tell you how much this book saved me during that period.
A Year in the Life of a Gardener has scenes describing garden plants on a grand scale.
For example, in the short essay "Buds" in the book, the budding of spring was compared to a march, which was described like this
<Prelude to the Unwritten March, let the march begin! O golden brass, let the sun shine. Resound, timpani. Beat, flute. Sprinkle drops of sound, myriads of violins! For the silent garden, sprouting brown and green, has begun its triumphal procession. >
From "A Year in the Life of a Gardener" by Karel Čapek, translated by Shu Iijima / Heibonsha.
After reading "The Sprout," I looked up from the book and looked out the window at the mountains.
The green of the mountains was growing thicker and darker as summer approached.
I had completely forgotten about it, but the season was steadily changing.
Tensions were relaxed, and my sensitivity came to life.
I felt spontaneous and free for the first time in a long time.
As I write this, in November, the outbreak has spread again and
The situation is slowly becoming urgent again.
The reports continue to be grim and painful.
Still, we should be able to reach out in this world through words.
Words will always reach someone.
We will continue our small efforts to connect books and people, without giving up and without giving in.
Now, I need to make a list of the books I'll stock next time.
The last shelf of 2020.
I want to choose books that make me look at the present and feel hope.
text and photoprahs - Azusa Umeda
writer / editor / book selector
Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Graduated from Osaka University of Arts. After working in editing production, she became independent in 2015.
He is working as a writer, editor, and Omusubi Books.
Moved to Nagano Prefecture in 2017. She lives with her husband and two-year-old child.
Luoms means "a way of life according to nature" in Finnish. The Western Pavilion sells raw honey from Kita-Karuizawa and processed foods made with local ingredients. It also offers coffee and other drinks. In the gallery, various special exhibitions are held, and the "Asama's Bun Bun Bun" exhibition, which tells the life of Kita-Karuizawa, is currently being held (until the end of March 2021). Omusubi Books are located in the back room on the first floor.
1984-239 Kitakaruizawa, Naganohara-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma 377-1412, Japan
10:00-17:00 (open 10:00-16:00 in winter) / closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Weekend Omusubi Channel
This is a weekly reading talk by the two guys from Omusubi Books with reading material. Each time a book is featured. Updated once a week.
STAY SALTY ...... people here
Life is a journey
From Tokyo to Hawaii
I was born and raised in Tokyo and before coming to Hawaii, I managed a P.R./hair and make-up artist for a major hair salon in Tokyo.
The work was fun, challenging and fulfilling, but one day I suddenly felt my life in Tokyo was limited.
One day, I was sitting on my balcony at home, looking out over the distant skyscrapers, when I heard a beautiful, clear bell sound, accompanied by a gentle autumn breeze.
It was like a wake-up call, a call from the unknown world.
The year after I heard the bell, in 2008, I moved from Shibuya to Kamakura.
I rented an old house with a small garden and spent my days off surfing and gardening, and I think the timing was right for my interest to shift from the material world to the spiritual world of the mind and body.
A visit to Mount Shasta, California's Holy Mountain, in the fall of 2010 deepened my desire to live in the great outdoors.
At the end of that year, I left my job of 12 years and traveled via L.A. to Shasta on New Year's Eve for two months in the mountains.
Then the Great East Japan Earthquake happened shortly after my return.
I was shocked by the experience of living in such a convenient modern society, where the electricity went out and many things were shut down, and felt that we are actually degenerating instead of evolving.
This led me to dream of a life of self-sufficiency in food and energy. I wanted to build a farming-based, bartered village where people would exchange goods, wisdom and abilities without money.
In the fall of that year, I visited the islands of Hawaii and Molokai for the first time with a friend and his wife.
In Molokai, I was taken care of at the home of artist Miyako Yamazaki, who asked me if I would like to come and help her at her house. I was invited to join them.
And on the island of Hawaii, I stayed in Keiko Forest's dreamy off-grid jungle, where I met the man who would later become my partner.
I didn't realize that this 10-day trip would be the prologue to my Hawaiian journey.
I landed on Molokai on Thanksgiving Day 2011.
It's a beautiful and gentle energy island that brings tears to my eyes just by looking at the sky, where I learned about eco-friendly and sustainable living such as aquaponics (hydroponics) and composting systems from Miyako's husband, Levie.
Then I was married to the aforementioned man who lives on the Big Island of Hawaii, and we began living in Ohia forest off-grid jungle in the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii.
It was a time when I learned about tropical farming and permaculture.
In the fall of 2012, I had a fateful encounter with a Kumu Lomilomi (kumu=teacher) called Uncle Alva, who led me to study Lomi Lomi.
I moved to Oahu from the island of Hawaii and officially became an apprentice.
The great love of his teacher and Lomilomi Ohana (ohana=family) changed his values and marked the beginning of a new phase in his life.
After witnessing his miracles, I realized that healing is not just about healing the body, but about bringing the body, mind, and spirit back into balance, which is what the client, or ourselves, can do.
I also learned to heal myself through Lomi Lomi, and from there the concept of self-care was born.
I could realize what is the purpose of my life and the path since I've met Lomilomi.
About Current Activities
I'm based in Hawaii and go to Japan a couple of times a year to do sessions and workshops.
This year I moved to Molokai from a stay-home, where I'm farming every day and helping out with a tree planting project in Molokai started by my local Hawaiian friend.
In Molokai, when you bring me fish, I thank you with vegetables from my garden, and I feel comfortable with the cycle of energy that doesn't involve money.
In this way, I feel that money is really a virtual thing, something that doesn't exist, and that the organic connection between people is more important.
During the stay-home, I felt a strong desire to do "sowing and sharing", so I started a self-care magazine called "Be your true self" on Japanese new SNS platform "note" to archive and share what I've been talking about in workshops and on the radio since 2014.
*My dreams and a little bit of the future
Living on a leisurely island will always be the same, living a "modern caveman life" while farming in the great outdoors.
Having experienced both city life and jungle life, I understand the advantages of both, so the ideal is a simple and light nomadic life with the essence of modernity in moderation.
Nowadays, you can connect with people anywhere in the world through Zoom, for example.
In addition to continuing to work with the land and its people for their healing, I hope to one day teach children about farming and healing.
Message to everyone
From the 2011 earthquake to the 2018 eruption of the Kilauea volcano, I have gone through the process of destruction and rebirth many times, always driven by something invisible, as if "when the earth shakes, it moves".
It's a life of rage, even for me, but "it is what it is! And maybe I exist as a sample of an interesting life that will completely change the prevailing values.
From now on, we will live our lives not according to the axis of others or the world, but according to our own axis.
In order to live happily in such an era, there are things that I think are necessary.
First of all, you need to cherish your relationships with people.
Since I came to Hawaii, I have had many difficult times, but I have always been helped by people. My friends and clients in Japan are also important to me, and I value the people who are always connected with me.
In the future, be flexible to change, soft in your thinking, but decide when to make a decision.
Utilize your signature strength.
Share your unique qualities with the world in a way that no one else can.
Create the world you want to live in instead of fitting yourself to the existing world.
It is possible to do it now.
You can choose your life again and again.
Envision a bright future and believe in it.
Because it will surely become a reality one day.
text and photoprahs - Junka
STAY SALTY ...... people here
To the timing of each,
the time that flows.
A lot of things have happened in 2020.
Exactly what is the word for a situation like this, out of the blue? I thought.
A sudden thunderclap in a clear blue sky, or what I thought was a blue sky, wasn't it? I think that's what it means.
I think it's a message from nature.
Is it really OK for humans to do what we have done, and how far is the line of coexistence with nature?
I hope this is an opportunity for each of us to think about it again.
It's not about confronting nature, it's about coexistence.
Even if we just change the way we think, our future will change.
I'm glad I was able to hear the sound of the waves during today's shoot.
I want to believe in and cherish this feeling of relaxation that I get from that alone.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how we are all part of something bigger.
I changed my name.
I was born Izumi Tachibana.
Then we got married and became "Izumi Sakaki
This year, for the first time ever, I gave myself what appears to be a stage name.
It's called "Kazu" or Izumi.
I've been called "Izumi-san" or "Izumi-chan" in the past, so I don't really feel comfortable with it.
Lately, as I've gotten older, not many people have called me "chan" anymore (laughs).
Did you change your name? I've been told in a grandiose way that
My feeling is that it's a bit like a costume change (laughs).
Whenever I introduce myself, "I'm Izumi," the tone of my voice rises (laughs).
It's a light tone of voice (laughs).
To tell you the truth, I think this is very important.
A last name is somehow like declaring yourself to be a nobody from somewhere.
I think that's a little bit too heavy for the current atmosphere.
This is a gut feeling.
I don't need to be put into a category of "who" or "what" to be, but I know that I am who I am.
This year, I made a new signboard for myself.
In 2020, I still had to postpone all of my planned gigs and tours.
I couldn't bear to risk the health of everyone who would come to the concert.
I was also not happy with the way the world was encouraging me to play live.
The audience couldn't speak, they couldn't sing.
You can't just take a social distance and immerse yourself in listening to a song, you know.
This is the main reason why I felt there was no point in doing a live show.
Of course, like most musicians, I was worried until the last minute.
I thought about many things, like how it would be a revolution to shake this off and hold a show.
Of course, I make my money from singing.
The income problem of losing live music is also a big one.
It really bothered me.
It also broke my heart to feel like people in the world are against live music.
Most of all, it's hard for everyone involved in live music venues across the country.
It's a lot of money to maintain.
We did what we could, like commenting on the crowdfunding campaign, but
What happens after next year? Everyone in the music world is desperately trying to find a new path.
But it's not all bad, and when Tokyo is in lockdown.
We did a live stream via Instagram.
Two or three times a week, at 9:30 at night.
It was, you know, an impulse, an urge to love.
I said, "It must be hard for everyone, I'll sing so that people won't get bored of living at home!
What I could do for the world at a time like this was to sing a song.
It's so simple to think that what you can do and what is required of you is the same thing.
I know my role in this world! Boom! I had a sense of clarity like that.
The word "work," depending on how you take it, is a cool word.
I was proud of what I was doing. That was a big deal.
At the Insta-live event, I sang about 50 of my songs and covers (songs by Suda Masaki, Aymyong-chan, Erekashi, Tamio-san, etc.) all by myself, and that gave me a lot of confidence.
After we got married in 2006, I had more opportunities to create soundtracks for movies and dramas that my husband Hideo Sakaki was directing.
Surprisingly for me, before I started releasing CDs professionally, I was more interested in the melodies than the words.
I was always told that my music was more impressive because of the words.
But the truth is that sound is suddenly much easier to create.
By creating the soundtrack, I feel like I'm being drawn back to sound.
The words of Shuntaro Tanikawa, for example, remind me of the infinite possibilities
I'm not that skilled, or maybe I'm just not there yet.
I want to pursue the possibilities of words for the rest of my life.
The sound is more like playing.
The other day, I drove to Kyoto with my first and third grade daughters to make musical instruments.
It's a Steiner-like lyre called a "soul sound lyre," and just by playing it a little bit, it changes the place.
Just by playing it, the sound changes the place.
I want this instrument! Huh? Can you make your own? And in two weeks, I'll be in Kyoto (laughs).
It's tuned to 432hz, which is the frequency range of sounds in nature.
So when I listen to it, I get a sense of happiness, like being under the sunshine through the trees, or seeing the sparkling light in the ocean.
I think it's amazing that you can tune your mind and body with sound, so I've been experimenting with other instruments that seem to have a tuning effect.
But these things are also things I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't had a lot of time to stop at this time of year.
Thinking about it more, there were a lot of footholds that led to this place a long time ago.
Everything is connected to the here and now, I thought to myself the other day as I sipped my tea (laughs).
There's nothing out of the ordinary at all.
We're going to do a live webcast for the first time.
There's a lot of new elements, like the visuals, so I've been putting it all together in a bit of a roundabout way.
Singing on the spot won't change, but it's exciting to use a new medium.
Although I won't be able to meet listeners in person, I hope that people will be able to listen to the live performances with a sense of presence in the space of their choice and in the people they like, as a new experiment.
Oh yes, I worked with Kinoshita-san and Fujimaki-san, the photographer, on the artwork for an album called "Family Tree" 14 years ago.
At the time, we were just starting out under the name Izumi Sakaki.
Those words fit perfectly with my mentality at that time, and I felt like I could do my best again for the next 10 years.
I don't know if I'm saying it well, but I'd like to be able to sing songs like those casual words to people.
I would like to be able to walk to a new place again.
singer and songwriter
text - Izumi
photoprahs - Tetsuya Fujimaki
singer and songwriter
Izumi Tachibana made her debut as Izumi Tachibana from Sony Records in 1992 with the song "Kimi wa daiyou daiyou".
As a singer-songwriter with a unique sense of language and worldview, she has produced such major hits as "Doubt", "Eien no Puzzle", "Vanilla" and "Monkey Song".
In 2006, she changed her name to Izumi Sakaki when she got married.
And in 2020, she will change her name to Izumi Izumi.
She has also produced soundtracks for movies and TV dramas.
NHK's "Udonpan" (Everyone's Song) captivates kids and more
He shows talent that doesn't fit into a category and is expected to be more and more successful.
Izumi Tachibana era masterpiece "Failed" will be released as an analog 7-inch! Even the Japanese calligraphy on the jacket!
Title: Disqualified/Taiyo Artist: Izumi Tachibana
Release date (commencement of shipment): December 7, 2020
Part Number: DQKL-7120 Specifications: 7inch/45RPM
Price: 1,900 yen plus tax
Recording: Side-A "Disqualification (lyricist/composer: Izumi Tachibana, arrangement: Masaru Hoshi)
Side-B 'Taiyo (Song Lyrics/Composer: Izumi Tachibana, Arrangement: Izumi Tachibana, Akira Sudo)
STAY SALTY ...... people here
to follow with the tide, for now
In my 20s, I was just confused.
I had no clue on who I was and what I wanted to do for life.
After graduating from a two-year college, I worked for a company, quit in less than a year and from there my relentless life journey began.
I tried every single thing I could come up with like studying abroad in Australia, living in Hawaii, wandering around Asia, and moving to a faraway island, Chichijima, to try a more hippie lifestyle and so forth, but in the end, nothing lasted.
A few years later, another journey began from a salvation army’s dormitory in NYC.
With one suitcase, 7 and a half years passed quickly.
Before I knew it, I started getting gray hair and wrinkles.
I was living such a frantic and intense life to even notice them.
Then, there in New York, I found myself in the art world.
Since then, it has been over 15 years and I’m still working in the same field in Tokyo.
“I want to be a mediator for something”.
My thought was really faint like a candle light, a streak of light that pierced through the darkness.
That’s the only thing I could rely on and I’d left for New York.
Led by encounters with people and an invisible force, I proceeded onto the contemporary art world. After graduating from college, I started working as an assistant director at a gallery in Chelsea and ended up witnessing the booming art market and then the collapse in 2008.
Now, here in Tokyo as an art coordinator, I have taken on the role of connecting contemporary art communities in Japan and the rest of the world.
When I was little, looking up the sky, I dreamt like I want to meet people from all over the world.
I now realize both my childhood dream and my desire to become a bridge actually came true.
I could finally feel relieved with myself.
Do I know who I am then? Nope, still no idea, yet it doesn’t matter anymore.
I have some role in the art world, which should be good enough for now.
“Why art?” I sometimes ask myself.
In Japan I often hear that “contemporary art is too difficult to understand,” but I say it’s not true.
Art has always evolved by itself from questioning the past, old customs and traditions.
From that point of view, we can trace art history all the way back to the Renaissance or even earlier than that.
When Picasso and Monet were active, for instance, they were the contemporary artists of their time and they tried to convey and express what they believed at that time.
They tried to reject the conventions and bring new progress out of it.
Then, the next generation rejected Monet and Picasso and revolted against the past.
That’s how art has been evolving and how the art movements were linked to each other.
Moreover, because of the patrons and intellectuals who supported Monet and Picasso, and preserved the works that passed down from generation to generation, we could actually see and appreciate their works.
Art is indeed a reflection on society and the times and it is a visual form of communication, conveying new ways of thinking and looking at the world.
We get reactions like, “Wow!” “I see!” or "That's another way of looking at it!"
Art could speak louder than words. It conveys something that can’t always be described in words, however, it gives the viewer space to interpret freely.
Most people who get involved in art are in fact serious about what's going on in our society, whether it’s about politics, environmental issues, personal or universal matters.
That's what I like about being in the art world.
Plus, art allows all of us to stand on the very same stage beyond nationalities, age, gender and social status.
By serving each role as an artist, a collector, as a gallery, as a museum, we can preserve our contemporary for the next generation. In doing so, we as participants were weaving the history.
Art can also change one’s view of life.
In fact, I have witnessed such people in Japan.
If my lead to the contemporary art world could make someone happy, I would feel content.
So perhaps, it might have been inevitable to be here.
But this year, the world turned upside down.
At the end of January, I was in Basel for an annual conference where all of Art Basel VIP Representatives gathered and the main issue we were discussing was not really about Covid 19, but Hong Kong's protests.
Then, in the blink of an eye, the new coronavirus spread across the world and almost all the international art events, including Art Basel, were cancelled and so did my yearly routine to go on oversea business trips and to receive international visitors.
The art industry is now relying on an online operation and limited in local activity.
Everyone is looking at a completely different world.
Who could have ever imagined this?
Nobody knows how this will turn out to be.
It's a completely unknown world for everyone.
However, I think that it is an artist who can confront and stand up to a difficult situation.
I wonder how each artist will confront the now and transform what they are facing to their own creation.
I’m looking forward to witnessing this.
And back to myself, I am now living in between Tokyo and Manazuru.
I used to live super minimally as I wanted to move when I wanted.
I did not want to be chained and locked by my belongings and I wanted to be on the go always.
It was not until a few years ago that for the first time in my life I felt like finding my place and getting grounded.
I was tired of constantly moving.
By the way, living near the sea… that was another dream of mine.
I'm only half rooted here.
I still don't know what will come out of me being here.
I guess I'll find out later, cause that’s my pattern to notice much later, by having listened to the chatter of my inner self.
Now, time is passing by slowly.
During the lockdown, I sensed our earth being fresh and peaceful.
Looking at the sunset, I wonder if we might have been going too fast or focusing on the external world too much?
Maybe it was unnatural?
Listening to the sound of the ocean and birds chattering, feeling the breeze from the sea, gardening and looking at the sunset, I have to say, I quietly feel content.
I wonder what's next and what kind of world is waiting for me.
I feel uneasy of course, but at the same time, I’m thrilled.
I’m just trying to surrender and follow the tide for now, because a new adventure might begin again.
plugin +, founder / Art Basel VIP Representative Japan
text and photographs - Natane Takeda
plugin +, founder / Art Basel VIP Representative Japan
Natane Takeda, born and raised in Tokyo, and she has traveled and lived abroad extensively. In 2002 she moved to New York where she studied art history at The New School University. She worked for an assistant director at Esso Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. During this time, she curated shows featuring emerging Japanese artists and she helped to coordinate art events at different venues throughout New York. Since 2009, she has been based in Tokyo, where she launched plug in+, to connect contemporary art communities in her role as an art coordinator and consultant. She’s been working for Art Basel as VIP Representative for Japan since 2012.
STAY SALTY ...... people here
A view of the future after
Miyako Yamazaki interview
Q. What made you decide to go into the art world?
I've been drawing ever since I can remember.
I was always drawing with whatever pieces of paper and pencils I could find around me.
Even though no one told me to do it, I had a funny feeling from a young age that what I drew had value and would one day be sought after by many people, so even if I messed up, I shouldn't throw it in the trash.
But I was very serious.
Recently I realized that I had been a painter in my past life as well.
So my soul must have remembered that I was an artist from a very young age.
When I was in elementary school, when I came to school with a picture I had drawn for homework, my teacher would scold me, saying, "You asked an adult to draw it for you. I was scolded by the teacher, saying, "You had an adult draw for you.
You might not be able to tell from my current style, but I was naturally good at drawing well.
If I had a career as a professional painter in a past life. LOL.
For me, it was more than just a love of drawing, it was the easiest way to express myself, so I just walked that path.
After graduating from art school, I decided quite naturally that I wanted to paint for a living.
But I had no idea how to do it, so I just haphazardly walked around with my work and asked for a job.
The first offer I received was to draw the cover of a book.
Since then, I've been called an illustrator, and I've found pleasure in drawing whatever people wanted and getting satisfaction from it.
However, in my late twenties, I decided to follow my instinct to paint only what I wanted to paint, and suddenly I was called a contemporary artist.
Q. When you decided to become an artist, what kind of future did you imagine for yourself? Has it been achieved?
When I was young, and I still couldn't remember who I really was, I envisioned a future in which I would be valued globally and considered prestigious within the system of values created by capitalist society, such as having my work sold in a New York art gallery, wearing a luxury brand perfume at the opening reception, and drinking champagne in all its glory.
That hasn't happened.
But I know now that even if it had happened, it would not have been what my soul really wanted.
I am now living as an artist and experiencing a reality of a beautiful future that I couldn't even imagine back then.
I've always put myself in a place of comfort, better than the luxury hotels of the world.
Q. Why did you move to a remote island in Hawaii? How have your feelings changed since you were living in Tokyo?
I didn't move here by choice.
I was born and raised surrounded by the concrete of Tokyo, but I have never lied to my senses, and I have always lived with the flow of life while searching for the truth.
At the same time, I was questioning the unnatural modern urban society that I was unknowingly a part of, and I was always praying in the back of my mind to find a door to turn out of it.
Eventually I met my husband and found myself living aboard a boat in the Pacific Ocean and spending all hours of the day looking only at the sea and the sky.
I felt that I had finally found the door I was looking for.
And then I found this little island to live on.
...and in unexpected ways, prayers can be answered.
After getting off the boat and landing on the island, we had two daughters and lived for the first ten years or so in a house my husband had built on a hill in what was once a sandalwood forest.
We moved out that house three years ago and now lives in the house at 131, which overlooks the sea and sky.
This house has a theme song called "131st Heaven".
This is a beautiful ukulele instrumental number that I love, it's a beautiful ukulele instrumental.
It was inspired by the house and composed by an island-born Hawaiian musician who once lived in the house.
Who could imagine being the owner of the house of a song he loved?
I hadn't even realized that fact for a while when I first started living here.
What a blessing. Life is full of miracles.
The horizontal horizon.
I wake up to the happy scent of my husband's fresh organic coffee ground by my husband before the dawn light pokes through the contours of the mountains to the heavens, and I take care of the horses, dogs, ducks and other animals.
Then I'll water the flowers and trees we planted here on 131, pull the weeds and replant the pots.
When all this is done, I finally sit in my studio in front of the canvas.
At the end of the day, our family of four is at the dinner table with a sunset backdrop that looks like the climax of a movie.
Before slipping into bed, I sit in the cast-iron bathtub in the garden, gazing at the stars as I reflect on the day.
When I lived in the adjoining house, a square room in Tokyo with gray walls protruding from the window sills, I couldn't help but listen to music on my player all day long.
I tried to forget the fact that I wasn't in an environment where happiness came naturally to me.
But living on this island, I've lost the habit of playing music.
But living on this island, I no longer have the habit of playing music, because the sound of the wind singing in the mountains, birds chirping, horses whispering, and the whispering of the waves coming from the sea, are all sounds that surround me every day.
I spend my days surrounded by the sounds of the wind singing from the mountains, birdsong, horses whispering, and the whispering of ripples from the sea.
Even my favorite song, "Heaven on 131", which I love so much, doesn't come through the speakers anymore.
We live in that world of music, because that's how we live now.
We are now living in the world of that song.
Because we have become music ourselves.
Champagne Gold Loves Light Blue
Color of Grass
Painting of Ocean
Moon Above Island
Q. Was there an event in your life that you will never forget?
But rather than talk about it briefly here, I'd like to encourage you to read my new book, "Days on Molokai: From the House in Sandalwood Hill," which will be released by Little More on October 10.
Q. Could you tell us a little about your new book?
In 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, the people of Japan were experiencing all kinds of emotional turmoil, pain, sorrow, confusion...
Suddenly I received a message from a friend who could hear voices from the heavenly realm.
There are people waiting for you. Please write a book.
Those words spurred me on and I began to write.
A little more than a year later, I was able to write a book, but after that, the book never had a chance to be made into a real book, and for nine years it lay quietly dormant.
Early last year, however, two women from Japan came to the island and asked for a painting of the sea and sky that I had made.
Later, they started thinking about turning my paintings into a book.
At first, they proposed publishing my work through crowdfunding, but I turned them down.
Because of the nature of the crowdfunding process, we might end up getting funding from people who weren't interested in reading the book because they wanted to help us out.
It felt unnatural to me to do so.
Of course, I only felt that way about the book, and the crowdfunding itself is a wonderful thing.
But I wrote it as if I was nudged by a message from the heavens.
If it really needs to take shape, the way will open up for it...
With that in mind, I told them that I wanted to make this book only if a publishing company or sponsor who wanted to do it on their own came along.
After that, they struggled to get it published.
But in 2020, in March of this year, a publisher suddenly appeared who said, "Let's make it".
It was just as the people of Japan were beginning to feel the buzz in their hearts again as the rest of the world was being forced to change their everyday lives.
...And just as the publishing process began, one of the two women unexpectedly passed away.
What a surprise!
I was so surprised, I didn't know what to make of it.
I have been looking for an answer.
The timing is right for me to send this book out into the world now.
...The only reason this book is being published is because of her.
...Is it inappropriate of me to feel that she was an angel...or even that she was an angel?
If that is the case, I am so sorry.
But the soul does not end with the death of the body.
Suddenly I feel as if she is with me.
It's a warm, fluffy feeling. Like a soft mist.
Q. What do you keep in mind when you paint?
It is to draw like a child without any work.
I focus on the future landscape of 1000 years from now, which is in my mind.
If various "thoughts" come to my mind while I am painting, I will stop painting.
Or, if I don't stop painting, I will completely detach the "thoughts" from the act of painting.
Perhaps you may have read or heard about people who had a near-death experience where they saw their body, their soul, from the air, and it is that kind of detachment.
The thinking self and the painting self are both present at the same time.
I, the one who is not thinking, am the one who is drawing.
By doing so, I try not to put "thoughts" on the canvas.
The reason why I do this is because our daily life is already overflowing with all kinds of "thoughts".
I don't need to add another thought to the world.
There is no need to add another one to this world.
What we are looking for is not "thought" but truth.
Does the sea and the sky in front of me now have thoughts?
The scenery just exists absolutely.
Even if the landscape has a soul in it, there is no "thought" in it.
And that's...the truth, isn't it?
Q. What is your concept or inspiration for your paintings?
I envision a dazzling view of the future 1,000 years from now.
I hope that it will be a guide for children and adults who have the spirit of a child.
So, what will the future be like 1,000 years from now?
It will be a world where all beings are accepted unconditionally.
Whenever I paint the sea and the sky or flowers, I always try to stand in the middle of the landscape that God once showed me when I was a child, 1000 years from now.
The square canvas is a window beyond time and space. The world beyond is not only a thousand years in the future, but also possibly a thousand years in the past.
And it is also this moment, just now.
If you cast your gaze beyond the window frame, there is an endless world that accepts you and me at all times, without any conditions whatsoever.
Q. Are your paintings cut out of actual landscapes and specific scenes?
In fact, the landscape God showed me as a child, a thousand years later, had no color or shape.
It was a world of colorlessness and formlessness.
...And yet, when we dared to express it in our world of form, these colors were born.
And at the same time, the colors resemble the infinitely shifting gradations of the island's sea and sky, and the colors of the fragrances emitted by the flowers that bloom daintily along the shore.
This island landscape is like that lovely, nostalgic landscape of the future.
The landscape of the future, a thousand years in the future, which we did not know if we would ever meet on this earth.
It is because I have been chasing for a long time to gaze at it again with my own eyes, that I may have arrived at this island, which has a very similar face to that landscape.
Q. What do you do when you run into a wall?
When faced with a wall....
First of all, of course we suffer.
You have to allow yourself to suffer and to be uncool.
You give yourself over to someone you trust to listen to you and cry or worry as much as you can for two days, for example.
But after that, I would just start doing something, anything.
And I have confidence that I can handle it.
There's no reason to have that confidence.
As an adult, I already know the truth of life: the bigger the obstacles, the more beautiful the landscape looks after you've overcome them.
So while I suffer, I am even excited about the other me somewhere.
I guess there is no obstacle that I can't overcome.
If you just make up your mind that you're going to get over it.
But there have been times when I've tried to give up.
When that happens, God gives me a strong rebuke.
So I have to make up my mind again.
And when I suffer, there are people who encourage me.
That's why I was able to get over it.
I always remember that.
Q. Do you sometimes lose the ability to draw?
I never stop writing.
Nor does it feel like "I'm painting.
But if something does go wrong, for example, we don't have a store on the island where you can buy art supplies, so you might run out of paint, or run out of canvas, or something like that, but you don't try to do anything about it.
But even so, I don't try to do anything about it, I just let it happen.
There's no need to rush to fix it.
What doesn't work is something we don't have to be able to do at the time.
If I have to, the problem will go away on its own.
Q. How do you want to live your life from now on?
...I feel that now and in the world from now on, things may come to us that we couldn't have imagined in the past...yes, I feel that.
I'm not necessarily saying that this is a negative thing.
In any case, the important thing is to understand the phenomenon that is happening in front of you, on your own.
It's not just about understanding it in your head, it's like realizing it from deep within your soul.
You don't just believe what you hear from someone else.
In order to be able to become such a person, it is important for me to listen to my heart on a regular basis.
In order to be able to become that way, I am always trying to listen to my heart.
And I will continue to do so.
And to be aware of it.
...Prayer is something that arrives in unexpected ways and comes true.
Q. What's the last thing you want to tell our readers?
...If everything you need to live now has already been given enough, and will continue to be given, what would you do? What would you like to do?
...Take the plunge and do it today.
You will find a way to do it.
...on the canvas.
...that nostalgic view of the future in a thousand years...
text and photographs - Miyako Yamazaki
Painting of Ocean
Painting of Ocean and Sky
Painting of Flowers
Paintings of Ocean and Sky
Born in 1969 in Tokyo, Japan.
After graduating from Tama Art University, he worked as an artist based in Tokyo.
In 2004, he began living on a boat. Later, he built a house in the Sandalwood Hills of Molokai, Hawaii.
Today, she lives a few miles to the east in what she calls "island heaven 131" with her psychologist husband, two daughters, horses and dogs, painting the ocean, sky and flowers.
Essay "Days on Molokai--From the House on Sandalwood Hill
Molokai, the oldest and most memorable of the Hawaiian islands, is a journey into the heart of the artist, who travels to Molokai and paints a picture of the colors that surround the island.
This is the emotional journey of an artist who is led to Molokai and continues to paint the colors that surround the island.
Feeling a void in his life in Tokyo, where he was born and raised, he travels to Hawaii.
After meeting his partner, living on a boat, and raising his two daughters in a house he had built himself, he spent ten years in Hawaii.
This is a record of her daily life, written by a very popular artist who has sold out her 120 works at her solo exhibition and whose softly written style is well supported.
Now is the time to deliver to your heart.
The sea, the sky, the stars, and the earth - seven chapters of essays filled with miracles and blessings, wrapped in the winds of Hawaii.
Days on Molokai from the House on Sandalwood Hill
Miyako Yamazaki, writing and drawing
Little More, Inc.
All royalties from this book will be donated to organizations and individuals working to protect & preserve the environment, education, health, and Hawaiian culture on Molokai.
STAY SALTY ...... people here
Living calmly in a frustrating world
For some reason I live in London now.
Because ten years ago, or even two years ago, I couldn't have imagined it.
It's been almost a year.
Until then, the next ten years.
I've been running at full speed to do what I love to do.
In London, you want to live a little more relaxed and polite.
I wanted to spend my time loosely following my feelings, or so I thought.
Before Corona, I had made the choice to live abroad.
I've had to make some major changes to the way I work and my work system, but
I had been thinking lightly at first, that I would only have to go back to Japan once every two or three months.
Because for a year and a half before I came to London
I live in Tokyo and go to New York once every two or three months for two weeks.
I had been living a life of
I'm sure you'll follow the opposite pattern.
I could kind of imagine the life itself as "living in Tokyo and going to New York once every two or three months for two weeks.
Living in Tokyo and going to New York once every two or three months for two weeks.
In writing, it's kind of cool, but
I'm cramming in a job while taking care of my 19-year-old cat who can no longer walk properly.
To be honest, going back and forth between Tokyo and New York was pretty hard on my body.
I was able to decide to come to London while leaving my work in Japan.
He was involved in a larger accident, people betrayed him, he was found to be sick, and his cat left for heaven.
Such a combination of the worst timing in my life.
Why don't you relax a bit? And it's like someone said.
I think the fact that I wanted to heal myself had a lot to do with it.
After finishing my student life in Japan, I lived in the United States for six years of my own volition.
I never thought I'd have to live there again, but
I wasn't opposed to the idea of living abroad, and rather than being excited about my new life, I felt a sense of security.
It was more like a "reset" feeling, where a change in environment changes your mood.
I've heard it said that moving 100km away from home can liberate you mentally and mentally from things, and that's exactly what it feels like.
When I was going back and forth between Tokyo and New York, and when I was going back and forth between London and Tokyo, I felt a sense of
It means that the flow of air around you changes.
The air is like the wind that changes the way it circles around you as if you were being sprayed with a new and somehow nostalgic fragrance spray and circling your body on its own.
If you think about the reasons for traveling after Corona, maybe it's the same if you stick with it.
Let's travel! I don't go on a trip because I think I'm going to be there, I go where I feel like I want to go.
I want to know what kind of people I can meet there, what kind of wind is blowing, and how going there will change the air around me.
I was living in London, living as meekly as I felt, when Corona came to me.
I started being told not to go out because I might be assaulted just for being of Asian descent, and slowly it expanded in Europe.
Italy and France went into lockdown, Europeans entering Japan were put on a two-week hold at home, and my planned temporary return to Japan was postponed.
At the same time, the expatriate employees and their families are given until the next day to make a decision on whether they want to return home or not.
My husband, who works at a financial institution, is in a slump every day due to the intense workload caused by the Lehman shock, and my job in Japan is constantly changing.
I don't know what the world is going to be like after this...
Scared of the ever-changing situation and almost overwhelmed by anxiety, the lockdown was suddenly greeted with rumors that the UK was also going to be on lockdown.
When the lockdown comes, there is only so much you can do.
I calmed down surprisingly easily.
Later, when the state of emergency was declared in Japan, the atmosphere seemed to change as if Japan was swallowed up in a wave of anxiety. When the news from the UK broke in Japan, we received a lot of concern, but there were also times when the mere fact that we were abroad made us feel like a safe haven, and we were hurled at with anxiety and frustration.
What a sad world it is.
I don't want to be in that world.
Being tied down by something or having my freedom restricted is a tight and frustrating situation.
But now, "enjoying the fullness of this frustrating world" is what I want to do.
Wouldn't that be a way to heal yourself? I've come to believe that.
Europe has different regulations from country to country and region to region, but we can move a little bit more.
I will go where I can.
I want to touch the things I can see and feel with my own eyes and body.
That way, I can give people who can't travel a chance to do so.
Maybe we can deliver a new wind.
Of course, as far as I can go while adhering to the regulations.
I'm living in London.
From Hokkaido to Okinawa with a "love of fashion and beauty
I am surrounded by ambitious women in their 20's to 60's who are involved in training.
Each of us has the best moments of our lives and the worst events of our lives.
Being away from them can be frustrating.
And yet, I can't get it out of my head, whether I sleep or wake up.
I feel lucky to be able to do what I love and
You can reset and refresh yourself.
Because I believe that we all can make the most of ourselves.
Even in the frustrating world.
I want to be calm and flat at heart.
And I want to enjoy myself to the fullest.
text and photographs - Ryoko Kudo
This is her 11th year as an independent image consultant.
Utilizing her professional studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Image Consulting Course in New York, she has developed her own consulting style.
"She not only suggests what looks good on you, but also analyzes your essence, strengths, and lifestyle from multiple angles to help business executives, celebrities, cultural figures, and executives with their image strategies and how to attract women who want to live their own lives.
After living in Tokyo and New York, he now lives in London and focuses on training image consultants and personal stylists, and has turned out many of the top students in the industry. She specializes in bringing out the strengths and individuality of each individual and reflecting their personality in their attire and business.
His work includes branding for associations and NPOs, coordinating websites for ministries and agencies, giving lectures on image enhancement for government and universities, developing educational materials for stylists, and holding talk shows and styling events at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi and Ginza.
Representative Director of Image Produce Association
President of Ginza Image Consultant Professional Training Academy