Mainichi Shodokai Director

Professor Emeritus, Taisho University

Akahira Taisho

Through a fortunate connection, I was asked by Rev. Yamamoto Yuki to paint the calligraphy of a haiku by Matsuo Bashō.

For me, calligraphy is a daily pleasure and something that gives meaning to my life. The “immutable fluidity” of the world that Bashō sought represents an ideal for all of us who aspire to art. Immutability is eternal, while fluidity is the newness that captures the present era. I am aware every day that living calligraphy cannot be created unless the work has these qualities. As I was to paint the words of this very Bashō, I felt tense. Reading the haiku and its preface numerous times, my feelings eased and I was able to pick up the brush.

I tried to express the profound scene of a cicada’s cry penetrating the rocks in the stillness, along with thoughts of the existence of a small cicada living with nature.