Mad am I?
I was merely living my life
waiting for spring.
The “poem” above is a quote from Tsugumo Hanshiro at the end of Miike’s film “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” (a remake of Kobayashi’s 1962 film). Writers of movies, novels and short stories write lines that even self-proclaimed poets could consider a poem in their own right. And this quote was amazing — coming at the end of the film, it captured more than you can imagine.
Finding an image from the film that captured my deep impressions was impossible — but I have included this one to give you and idea.
This was a very melancholic film and affected me for hours. Suicide, in Japan, is a very different concept from what I grew up with in the West. When I first went to Japan I remember being appalled by the idea of ‘noble suicide’. Several years later, fluent both in both the language and culture, while watching a classic film on Kami-Kaze pilots, I had a tear in my eye. My Japanese friend noticed and said to me, “You have been here too long.”
Whether with words, drawings or films, capturing a feeling is difficult but a joy to attempt. The picture to the right is a blend of two belated attempts to capture my feelings for my last poem, “Chuckling at Curves“. The top version is hand-drawn, the bottom version was done with computer graphics.
Much like trying to capture my feelings about the samurai film, neither drawing here satisfactorily captures my feelings on curves and straight lines. We can only try!