invisible life echoes of Kamakura Zochoten rains tears
I studied Japanese art history in college, but my love of Japan started when I was a child. When finally visiting Osaka in 2005 I was fortunate to see a traveling exhibit at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art (Shiritsu Bijutsukan).
It took quite a bit of effort to find the museum as the directions to it were vague. Perry and I were highly motivated because information we found on the internet said that it contained an “exceptional collection of 12th to 14th century classical Japanese art”.
At the Tenno-ji Eki subway stop there were no English or romaji signs for the museum and most people who offered help could not understand the English name. After a lot of walking through the subterranean maze we finally found the exit (21) that led us to the zoo park and the museum. As it turned out, it was well-worth the time and effort.
The museum was hosting a special exhibit: National Treasures of Kohfukuji – from the Temple Revival of Kamakura Period. While there were many stunning sculptures, the one that gave me chicken skin and caused tears to pour down my cheeks was that of Zochoten, one of the Deva Kings (by Kokei). Unfortunately, no two dimensional representation can convey the power of the actual sculpture.
My physical reaction to this sculpture made me realize that my connection to Japan came from another life and time, hence the haiku poem.