【With the special providence of Juni Shinsho, the statues of Twelve Heavenly Generals】
The Juni Shinsho at the Yakushi-do hall of Jionji-Temple is quite overwhelming. As I started drawing, a Higurashi, evening cicada, stopped singing. I concentrated on drawing entirely with a sense of intensity. It was just the start of the long, long journey of my endeavor. Looking back, we see Tohoku History went through a variety of painful hardships. Looking from the *Jomon Era, we encounter the generous heart of **Manyo People. Nowadays, such passion is expressed in the painting works of Tetsugoro Yorozu and woodprint arts of Shiko Munakata. We have inherited the underlying spirit of Jomon people. Slowly but steadily, I wish to touch the passion of Jomon as I paint.
*Jomon Era: around 13,000 years BP to 2,300 years BP
**Manyo People: who lived around 6th to 7th century AD. Their emotional experiences are expressed in Manyoshu, the oldest Japanese poetry anthology.
【Message from Mr. Keiden Fuse, the Chief Official of Honzan Jion-ji Temple】
The picture of Indara Taisho won a prize at the Nitten Exhibition (The Japan Fine Art Exhibition). The statue of Indara Taisho had been exhibited and received favorable reviews at the Japan-Kamakura Exhibition sponsored by the Japanese Cultural Agency, held as part of the commemoration events for the United States National Museum extension. After this, the statue had been lent to the Tokyo National Museum for three years. Afterward, there was a strong request from the museum to let them keep the statue for three more years. I declined to do so because of the plan to hold a Buddhist memorial service for the founder of Dewaji Juni Yakushi Reijo, the sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in Dewaji area, at Jion-ji Temple. Ms. Sato visited our temple one year before that. She strongly wished to draw the statue of Indara Taisho. Giving in to her enthusiasm, I allowed her to do so. Because I gave her permission, I felt great responsibility. During the period she drew the picture, the Yakushi-do hall was closed to the public to let her concentrate on her work. Initially, I thought that it would be a water painting but I was astonished when I looked into the Yakushi-do hall. It was an oil painting. Moreover, the work was large (approximately 16m×13m) with bold painting technique. She had sharp eyes while drawing. It was hard to believe that such a slender woman created the picture. I feel truly pleased to hear that your work was awarded at the Nitten Exhibition. I wish you further success with your devotion.