Yu-ichi Inoue, ‘Ken-ju 虔十’, 1965, Rasti Chinese Art

Catalogue Raisonné No. 65043
關於宮澤賢治(Miyazawa Kenji,1896~1932)──日本昭和時代早期的詩人、童話作家。短短37年的歲月裡創作出許多令人驚豔的文學作品,其字句充滿節奏韻律,讀來生動深具吸引力。其作品也成為日本學生必讀教材,被視為日本國民作家。

而在〈虔十公園林〉裡,我們可以看到賢治是如何以另外一個角度去描繪身心障礙者的故事。因為自身跟周圍的人不同而被嘲笑的虔十,執意建造的杉林公園「今後不曉得將會讓幾千人明瞭真正的幸福」。賢治曾在「兄妹像手帳」上留下「Kenju Miyazawa」的簽名,這裡的賢治英文拼音(kenji)刻意寫成(kenju),即「虔十」的日文發音。從虔十的身上也看到賢治「不畏風雨」一詩中所提到「就算被大家叫做笨蛋,沒有人稱讚我,我也不以為苦」的精神。

Kenji Miyazawa (27 August 1896 – 21 September 1933) was a Japanese poet and author of children's literature from Hanamaki, Iwate, in the late Taishō and early Shōwa periods. He was also known as an agricultural science teacher, a vegetarian, cellist, devout Buddhist, and utopian social activist.

Kenju, in the story "Kenju's Wood," was able to get immense pleasure out of feeling the rain and wind and seeing wild creatures, but his neighbors treated him as a half-wit. The story tells how he was able to leave an gift for the children of later ages.

Kenju was made fun of by children. When Kenju saw "a hawk soaring up into the blue sky" or "leaves on the beech trees shimmering in the light, blown by a gust of wind" he would jump for joy, clap his hands and want to tell everyone about it. But children made such fun of him that he began to hide his feelings, and just laughed a silent laugh with his mouth wide open.
Planting cedars on the grassy land. One day Kenju asked his family to buy him seven hundred cedar seedlings, as he wanted to plant them on the open ground behind their house. His older brother objected, saying the trees wouldn't grow there. But their father decided to buy the seedlings because Kenju had never asked the family to buy him anything before.
The neighbors laughed at Kenju for planting cedars on that grassy land. They said, "Cedars will never grow in a place like that. A fool is always a fool, after all." Kenju pruned his trees, taking the other's fun seriously In fact, after seven or eight years the cedars hadn't even grown more than nine feet. At that time, a neighbor made fun of Kenju by asking him if he pruned his trees. Kenju took this seriously and diligently pruned the small trees until each tree only had three or four branches at the very top. His small wood became bare and open. The next day, Kenju heard the cheerful voice of children coming from his wood and went to investigate. He found many children marching joyfully between the rows of trees, which formed avenues. Seeing them made Kenju glad and he laughed with his mouth wide open. Soon afterward, Kenju died of typhus, but the children kept gathering in his wood just as before. Many years passed after he died. One day, a professor at some or other university came back to the town after fifteen years' absence. But he found no traces of any of the old fields and forests he used to know in his boyhood. The only exception was Kenju's wood, where children were playing just as in the old days. Recalling the good old days, the professor sighed, "Ah, well, who's to say who's wise and who's foolish? It's beyond our knowledge how mysteriously the wisdom of the Buddha acts!"

About Yu-ichi Inoue

Yu-ichi Inoue gained an international reputation through the course of his career; in fact, Robert Motherwell called him one of the few great artists from the latter half of the 20th century—in spite of his reluctance to regularly participate in exhibitions. Inoue was considered an avant-garde calligrapher for his character-based subject matter, as well as his radicalization of traditional calligraphic techniques and styles. While his primary influences were the old masters of Japanese calligraphy, Inoue also employed action painting techniques like beating or splashing strips of paper with ink-laden brushes. He believed writing in this way could not only convey the meaning of the characters, but also a primitive impulse and an internal state of creativity.

Japanese, 1916-1985, Tokyo, Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan