Shōko Kanazawa and Her World of Ink

PILSEN 10th September – 11th 2015, PRAGUE 16th – 30th October 2015

Calligraphy of the Pure Soul

Yasuko Kanazawa

My daughter Shōko turned thirty this year. She has Down syndrome. Shōko can understand well neither the logical order of social cause and consequence, nor the structure of society. She does not have the ability of so-called scientific thinking, she has never been absorbed into the society yearning for status, money and benefits. Shōko is living her truly peaceful and happy days somewhere over the horizon, far distant from our reality. Due to her intellectual retardation she was refused the entry into the society which glorifies knowledge and education. It bothered me for a long time. Only later I realized that the fact Shōko remained formally uneducated was actually very fortunate.

If someone is excluded from academic career, it is not necessary for her or him to pass any exams. As Shōko has never had to pass any exam, she has not developed competitiveness. A person who lacks competitiveness has no reason to envy or be jealous of someone. Moreover, since Shōko does not understand social order, it never comes to her mind that she could become important or rich. Shōko is too far from all worldly desires and her ego-free heart is filled with love, doing its best to make everyone happy.

Her mind is infinitely kind and generous. For Shōko the time her mind is able to encompass doesn’t reach beyond tomorrow's lunch. She has no uncertainty or fear of future. She has no hope in the future, no targets. She has no memories of the past to regret. Since she has no goals or plans, she may live in absolute time, at 100% present in each moment. Her space-time is truly rich and beautiful. Shōko does not know the uncertainty of expectations, so she is always full of joyous excitement. She has always a smile on her round face. Nothing is impossible for her. What she is doing is what she wanted to do. What she possesses now is what she wanted to have.

Try to imagine such a world. There is no discontent, uncertainty or grief in it. Shōko’s world is completely fulfilled at every moment and in every place, clear and harmonious. Let’s gaze for a moment at the calligraphy created by Shōko, who lives in such a world ...