Tsunami Dragon

[ . BACK to DARUMA Museum TOP . ]

Tsunami Dragon

Art students
turn driftwood from tsunami into dragon

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture
When Yoriko Miura was walking along the riverbank near her home in this tsunami-ravaged city in April, she was struck by the symbolism of one giant piece of driftwood.

She thought it resembled a giant dragon, which locals believe is a water god.

In Ishinomaki, an annual Dragon Festival, which expresses hopes for large hauls of fish and safe journey on the ocean, is a local tradition.

Miura, 64, the owner of local café and art gallery Kawaberi no Sanpomichi, thought the pine driftwood could be turned into a symbolic work of art from the devastation of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It measures nearly 10 meters in length from the roots, which look like an open mouth, to the tip of the "tail."

While Miura was busy removing debris and rebuilding her life, Minori Yamazaki, a professor at the Joshibi University of Art and Design in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, who was visiting the city as a volunteer, agreed to tackle the project on her behalf.

His students who worked on the
“Ryuboku kara Ryuboku e”
(From driftwood to dragon wood)

project stayed at Miura’s gallery many times and worked along with neighborhood children from August.

They colored the wood in a greenish tint. Local residents were asked to write their favorite words on each of about 1,000 scales, made of pine bark and waste material.

Hiromasa Atsuta, 9, whose house was submerged nearly to the ceiling in the tsunami following the March 11 quake, drew an Anpanman cartoon character and wrote “Ganbaro” (Hang in there).

Takao Mikuni, who lives in temporary housing, wrote, “Come back, Ishinomaki.”

“We have to look forward even in hardship,” Mikuni, 78, said.

Students, too, found the project worthwhile and rewarding.

“I was worried if the driftwood art, which would keep the memory of the earthquake alive, would be accepted by local residents,” said Haruka Matsuda, 21. “But while working together, it became a precious work of art for both sides.”

The dynamic dragon was completed in October. It is now on display beside Miura’s gallery, located in a vast open space that was created after being cleared of tsunami debris. The dragon glares out at the Kyu Kitakamigawa river.

“The artwork was born out of an accidental meeting and good luck,” Miura said. “I hope many people will come to see the dragon, a symbol of reconstruction.”

source : ajw.asahi.com, February 8, 2012



source : mytown.asahi.com


. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011 .


No comments: