MARCH 2022

ISE SHIMA

At the end of February, we visited Ise Shima in Mie Prefecture. Ago Bay, the famous homeland of pearl culture, is stunning beauty. The coastline embraces about 60 islands and the bay is interspersed with small pearl and oyster culturing rafts. Next day we visited Ise Shrine to pray for peace in Ukraine.

ISE SHIMA


March 27: Cherry Blossom season is official today! The dazzling cherry blossoms in Nakameguro are in full bloom.

March 3: The Japan Meteorological Corporation released its forecast of the dates when cherry blossoms will start to flower and reach full bloom.

In Tokyo, the initial flowering date is estimated around March 20 and the full bloom date is expected at the very end of the month, March 26.

In Kanto region (including Tokyo), the cherry blossom season is expected to arrive at the usual time or somewhat earlier than the average year because the temperatures in Feb/March have been a bit higher than usual.

Flowering starts first in the southern region, gradually progresses northward. However, wind, rain and temperature conditions can cause the blossoms to appear either earlier or later.


March 7: History repeats itself・・・

It’s been almost two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine and since then thousands of soldiers and civilians have died and two-millions of people have been displaced from home.

It is a pain to hear Russian forces continues to push deeper into Ukraine. I remember well Prague Spring in 1968 and Poland’s solidarity movement in 1980s. Everyone believed that Russia has changed for a more open society after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, I was shocked to realize that nothing has been changed, because Russian authorities stepped up efforts to stifle criticism of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

We pray for the victims and the end of war.

MARCH 2022

March 14: Damien Hirst's Cherry Blossoms - Damien Hirst’s paintings with vibrant cherry blossoms in full bloom fill the space of the National Art Center. It is a timely exhibition because we are almost ready to welcome cherry blossom season. Damien's cherry blossoms are so strong and magnificent that it is spectacular to see cherry blossoms on such a scale and painted with a unique technique. The exhibition provides with a respite from the depressed feeling of the COVID-19 pandemic. See more DAMIEN HIRST'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

National Art Center
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku,
Tokyo

March11: Tokyo Art Fair 2022 is being held at International Forum from March 10 thru March 12, 2022. I went the fair on March 10. It is always an exciting opportunity to have a chat with artist and see their original paintings, illustrations and sculptures. Yes, there were so many talented artists and several artworks that appealed to me, but there were so many and I could not focus on one artist.

At the Fair, the Marsmalt Le Papillon, Single Malt Whiskey, Takahide Komatsu Editionat the corner of Mizoe Gallery attracted my attention. The label on the whisky bottle was painted on gold leaf by Takahide Komatsu who painted 365 of these papillon labels. He depicted the wonderful natural environment through the motif of butterflies native to Japan. It was so elegant and I was fascinated by the story of how they came up with the idea of a collaboration with Hombo Shuzo, the maker of full-flavored Japanese whiskey.