Meditate anonymous Japanese artist

Meditate with…an anonymous Japanese artist

The old man is sitting on a small wicker basket. Dressed in a work kimono, he pulls towards him, with one hand, the meshes of the immense fishing net that he has hung on a large pole. On the other, he holds a shuttle loaded with wire which he passes between the torn meshes to reconstitute the network of links to hold the captured fish. Next to him, a teenager holds a young boy in his arms – his little brother? – to raise it towards the net. The child curls up with joy as he sees a large dragonfly pass in front of him in wonder. This little family scene is touchingly realistic. It is all the more moving because it is made, with incredible art, by a patient and gifted sculptor, undoubtedly in the ivory tusk of a sea creature.

It’s the big brother’s attitude that is surprising. His gaze is not drawn to the dragonfly or to the patience of the fisherman at work. It is towards the sky, in the distance, that his face turns. Like a subtle evocation of the Christian presence in the land of the rising sun. A presence which experienced, from 1614, a long period of persecution and oppression which only ended more than two centuries later. But as with the ivory carver and fisherman he depicts, perseverance is a powerful act of faith. Able to bring back life after death.

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