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Aoi Nishimata

Shushoku Matsushima (Matsushima in Autumn Colors)


I was invited to participate in this event again this year, but upon being given the theme of ‘Japan’s four seasons’ to work on, I spent a long time wondering what to do. I could not make up my mind which of the wonderful four seasons Japan enjoys to use and what scenery to feature as the subject. After a lot of thought, I settled on Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture. I happened to have been there shortly before the Great East Japan Earthquake and also visited the towns of Ishinomaki and Kesennuma that suffered such terrible damage during the disaster. While I was there I liked to look out of the window of the inn where I was staying on Matsushima and enjoy the wonderful view. It is definitely worthy of being described as one of Japan’s ‘three greatest views’. I hope that I have been able to capture even a small part of its beauty to deliver to you all. I also drew it in the hope that you might visit the area one day. For that reason I chose to depict it in the fall, when Matsushima is at its most beautiful, and I added some white chrysanthemums in the foreground. White chrysanthemums seem ephemeral and melancholy, but in the language of flowers, they stand for ‘fidelity’ and ‘truth’. If I have succeeded in depicting a faithful image of Japan, the true Japan, then I will be very happy.
kimono nishimata_aoi

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