The Spring of 2020 was a historic period for everyone in the world. While the unknown new virus spread rapidly, the only thing we could do in many countries including Japan was to “stay home”. The shock was felt around the world. Perhaps we should have expected something like this as many people wondered whether or not Science and Technology was really superior to nature.
The One Hundred Character Poem, a collaboration by me and my Chinese friend, is an attempt to convey small and common philosophical aspects of life such as, respect nature, be grateful to everyday life, and life is beautiful. Fortunately, after the poem was introduced on Beyond Calligraphy, some students of Japanese calligraphy in foreign countries found the poem and started writing it.
Confronted by the COVID-19 crisis, as the news told me the number of the dead people every day, I wanted to do something and decided to do a calligraphy relay with calligrapher friends of the One Hundred Characters Poem. It was a big challenge for me, but the idea of “praying by writing for peace” had enough participants soon despite my worries. That meant that many people were looking for something they could do because of the challenges that they have never experienced before.
Finally, 52 members from 4 countries, Israel, Hungary, the USA and Japan, joined the project. You can see they are choosing and writing each phrase in their own favorite way. Some are writing characters very traditionally, and others are writing very freely with colors. We could say that both ways have different types of beauty.
I love the Chinese Zen saying “A willow is green and a flower is red”. That means everyone is different and that is what makes beautiful scenery. I hope that after we conquer this crisis the world we are living in will develop into a place where one can express oneself freely and respect each other without any fights for any reason, like nationality, race or regions.
The Facebook group page of the One Hundred Character Poem (https://www.facebook.com/groups/219675542602889/) gave us the hope and power to live in the period of “stay home” by sharing work photos. We are always open to new members if you would like to join and write the poem with us. We hope the worldwide calligraphy network will grow gradually, and that will lead to help the world become a better place in the coming era.
Here is the link to the movie.