All posts tagged AKIKO SENSEI

Visiting a house designed by Mr. Masuda Ikeda and Ms. Yoko Sato

Mr. Masuo Ikeda was a worldwide, successful multi-artist who passed away in 1997.  His house where he spent with Ms. Yoko Sato is now open to the public as an art gallery.  I visited the house of gallery in Atami the other day.  Mr. Ikeda was a cheerful, brisk and smart person and Ms. Sato is a sexy and charming lady who plays the violin very dynamically and manly.  I became to know both of them through my late husband, Yasunori Sugahara.

I visited the gallery after a long interval and I felt a sign of their being and appreciated each work piece there.  The house was absolutely wonderful enough to feel the happy days that they must have led.  The house had appearance with a feeling of unity with stained-glasses in the entrance, bathroom and ceiling lights.  It was indeed the modern type of house in those days.

Mr. Masuo failed the entrance examination for the Tokyo University of the Arts three times.  He was a very unique artist.  That’s why he was so hungry and energetic to be engaged in producing works in various forms of art such as woodcut prints, potteries, water color paintings, writing nobles and motion pictures.  He also collaborated with Ms. Yoko to release essays and hosted some TV shows.  Ms. Yoko devoted herself to support Mr. Masuo all the time.  She never failed to keep smiles, never clashed with him and lived peacefully and merrily.  Ms. Yoko still lives in Atami but I think she misses her husband so much.  This artistic house is full of the happiest days of their marriage life, which NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai, Japan Broadcasting Corp.) focused on in a special documentary from the dramatic encounter throughout their life.  It was worth watching.  Usually, a couple of two artists have strong personalities enough to run into each other.  Or some may fight to protect their own space.  Mr. Masuo and Ms. Yoko were both liberal and tolerant persons and had no such worries but lived happily together ever after.  They were such a lovely couple unlike others.  Their intelligence, caring and attractiveness as a man and a woman must have bloomed more graciously by being together.

The gallery had some jewelries on display that Mr. Masuo designed for Ms. Yoko.  They were so artistic that seemed to suit Ms. Yoko well.

Continued from the previous post

Be sure to have friends you can trust.  Have many hobbies that you like.  Enjoy and fulfill the common activities with your friends.  Lastly, do not hesitate to spend your money.  It is so sad to say but Japanese people are not good at volunteer activities.  If you are being stingy and try to save too much money, that money would rotten and destroy your mind or your family’s.  That negative power coming out of the rotten money can change you into a different personality who cannot live in a creative fun life.  Rich people in the old times were so called “the local benefactor” who willingly took care of many young poor students at their own homes and sent them to higher education forecasting them to be the next leaders in their home communities.  They had high sense of culturalism and the dignity of keeping faith.  Contrary, rich people in recent times have no purposes but to double up what they have.  Those people live in the Asura realm and are not attractive at all.   Such people may become really rich once, but soon or later will fall straight down to hell.

In western countries, children are naturally accustomed to volunteer activities.  This is one positive aspect of Christianity-related society.  Local volunteers would cook bean soup or tacos and offer to poor people in many Catholic churches in San Diego along the border of Mexico on a certain day every week.  In some parts of the world, this is a usual scene happening in a normal daily life while in Japanese schools tend to center solely around entrance examinations and students stay in a very narrow-minded environment.  Children who come out of there may avoid eye contacts when they take a glance at some poor-looking people because they cannot establish a normal, decent communication with others.  Each of us is lonely because this is a competition-based society.  We get stressed out easily and bullying the weak spreads out instantly.

In the story of Mr. Ohmae, he stated that each of us should have 20 different hobbies, but I think that’s too much.  It sounds like him as being an ADHD-type hard worker.  Go to hot spring inn with friends cheerfully instead of going alone.  Get some fresh fish at a local market and get down to the nearby camp site with a portable BBQ set.  The point is how much fun experiences you have accumulated since your childhood.
What you have experienced when you were kids can bring you back a bigger power in you senior ages.  Those who happen to lack such power will have to live in a fearful, anxious and mistrustful life by being exposed to the endless negative information coming from TV.  What I’m trying to say here is that we need to be aware that our mind impacts on our life, especially the latter half of our entire life.  90% of the tabloid shows distribute negative information.  People who are possessed with the idea that they will be broken into by a burglar will get broken into.  Life is fun and people around me are all nice.  My family is tied in a good relationship.  If you can believe so, that’s the reality you can attain.

This is where the law of attraction applies.  In the same sense that we are drawing in everything, it seems as we are living in the same realm but in fact it’s not the other world; rather we should consider that we’ve been living between heaven, Asura realm, competitive hell or other realms.  If we stay happy keeping smiles and feeling grateful, nothing bad should happen to us until we die.

It is natural that we reduce in strength, vigor and motor abilities as we age, but if we can override those negative aspects by humor and wisdom to get accustomed to a new life, that’s good enough.  This is my creed.

Playing tennis together as a family.  Climbing is the family hobby.  Skiing and playing music together and participating in Phil harmony.  Besides, never fail to recognize the loss in the wars and offer earnest prayers.  The Emperor and Empress have shown me the most ideal way of life.  I believe that we should be proud and blessed with such wonderful examples.

Getting 50-year-old kimono altered for daughters to wear at their wedding or keeping the 40-year-old baby buggy in good shape for a revival in children’s generations… things like those teach us that good life is not costly at all.

Blow off anxieties about post-retirement years and economic slump… written by Kenichi Ohmae

 Personal financial assets of people in their golden ages in Japan are said to exceed 1700 trillion yen, and most of which are of those who are over 60 years old.  However, the reality is that they cannot spend their own saving for a freewheeling life because they are worried too much about what could happen to them in the later years such as illness, injury or aging related issues like nursing cares and getting into nursing homes.  Even the NHK, Japanese national public broadcasting organization has picked out the increasing rates of solitary deaths and “Karyu-Roujin,” (a recently created slang term indicating the elderlies whose living is equivalent to the borderline of welfare), most typical Japanese citizens become antsier.

 About a decade ago, bank account of senior generation was believed to sum up to 1300 trillion yen but expected to decrease as “dankai generation” (the baby boomers) retires and starts to withdraw such savings.  But media has sensationalized and urged the public to prepare for the worst scenario by keeping their savings for rainy days.  What I see behind this sensationalism is that not many elderly in over 70s are likely to spend happy, merrily, brisk life.  Those who are able to do so may be limited to those who have lived and known lifestyles in overseas.  Others, unfortunately, seemed to have been taught only to save money but not how to spend.  That is why there are some married couples who instantly decide to go on a cruise trip paying 10 million yen, not knowing they would argue all the time and usually men would end up in staying in a large common room.  This is not funny but happening in reality.  The fact is that we need long term trainings to acquire tips how to spend money for ourselves, our family and to amuse people around us.  Just having a lot of money would not enable us to spend it wisely.  (This point is mentioned in Mr. Ohmae’s book.)

How about having fun at the Bridge Pot Luck Party, which is sort of music concert and birthday celebration at the same time.  Home parties are not very common in Japan.  It is so sad that Japanese do not hold inexpensive BBQ parties that ask participants just to show up and pay 1000 yen per person.  Exceptionally in Okinawa where BBQ parties are popular and actively taken place, people tend to spend happier life than those in mainland Japan.

 There are some old rich people who don’t trust people.  One of my friends has a pity, old but rich family member who pays big bills to his family for preparing and carrying every meal in the morning, afternoon and evening.  The old man would roam around the neighborhood when she has to look for him for hours.  I suggest that she find a luxury nursing home for him, but she prefers to take care of him at home for the sake of 30 thousand yen per day.

 This is so miserable but Japanese way of thinking.  The latter half of our life goes along as we image.  If we have a happy life with many friends, we can go on a trip with them, enjoy dancing, singing, drawing paints, showing photos each other at parties, and so on.  Those who can organize their life with fun events can stay being happy until the moment they die.  Such people are filled with love as they age and they would not have any troubles.

 One of my neighbor said, “I’m going to have myself checked up at a hospital,” and he did but then died of a terminal cancer within a week.  He had a good life.  His wife and he had a good relationship and went out for bowling together three times a week.  Their scores were always over 200 on the average.  They grow vegetables on the roof garden even in a metropolitan, Tokyo.  He was the president of a small local factory.

 Meanwhile, those who do not trust anyone even their own family and who believe all that matters is money, (as depicted in the latest publication of Mr. Fukushima) may end up in getting robbed 15 million yen because money is all they care.  People based on inhuman, money-minded can build up relationships that would break up in arguments at the end.  This stays even after the marriage which ties a couple only with money.  What a pity, hellish post-retirement life they have with a malicious relationship!  The elderly should consider two extremes heaven or hell, but not normal in between.

A Letter to My Friend, B who could not make it on that day-

On March 24, we held the second Buddhist memorial service in spring equinox times for my husband at Ikegami Honmon-ji Temple.  The air was a little chilly but as many as 100 people of Yasunori Sugahara’s Tomo-no-Kai (Fanatics’ Association) joined us from all over Japan.  The service took place in the temple hall and then we had a ceremonial dinner after that.  It was so nice to see people that I haven’t seen for a very long time.  We really had a good time there.

For the memorial service in the temple hall, five priests were present to read sutras.  It sounded so beautifully and for those who attended the service for the first time told me that they were very impressed by its solemn sounds that made them feel refreshed as if it were a piece of music.  The previous head priest, the late Priest Hayami designed the hall 20 years ago taking acoustic effects fully into account.  The woody ecru-colored of the hall emphasizes the Buddhist statutes as they line up simply, even though they are not colored but the same tone of color as the hall.

At the ceremonial dinner, members of Bonny Jacks kindly offered to sing a few songs.  We all sang along together toward the end.  The wholehearted singing memorial service by Bonny Jacks was really moving.  Most of all, I liked a cappella song that they arranged to combine Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”  It was so new and fresh that I was touched deeply.  Songs are meant to be a powerful love, messages and at the same time, an amazing magic that can take our mind back to our childhood instantly.  Songs we liked in our high school ages can take us back then.  Love songs we heard in our youth can make us reminisce about the sweet memories.  Nothing else can amaze us more but this wonderful magic of songs.

We sang all together, viscerally in a loud voice, as if we were little kids.  Age hasn’t slowed Bonny down at all!  Those who had eyes glistened with tears when they first arrived, had cheeks turned scarlet by the time to go home from singing along with Bonny.  Everyone had a twinkle in their eyes as if we all renewed our energy enough to last for a year until the next memorial service.  Bonny entertained us with a talk between songs full of humors.

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I’m sure that Yasunori Sugahara is still working hard every day for the earth to become a peaceful place in the other world where he is now.  The number of his fan there should be almost the same as those who are here… they have moved there as well.  My husband may be performing concerts upon their requests.

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On the service day of March 24th my husband must have been singing “Bells in Nagasaki” along with Bonny.  As I got home and talked to him in the photo, I felt he said he was happy with a smile 10 times bigger than usual.

I really wish my friend, B can join us next year.  Take care until then.

On the service day of March 24th my husband must have been singing “Bells in Nagasaki” along with Bonny.  As I got home and talked to him in the photo, I felt he said he was happy with a smile 10 times bigger than usual.

I really wish my friend, B can join us next year.  Take care until then.

On the service day of March 24th my husband must have been singing “Bells in Nagasaki” along with Bonny.  As I got home and talked to him in the photo, I felt he said he was happy with a smile 10 times bigger than usual.

I really wish my friend, B can join us next year.  Take care until then.