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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

September , 2019
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa

In Karuizawa, there is the Hiroshi Senju Museum.

The structure of the museum is fairly interesting. Entire surfaces of the walls are made of glass and the floors are not flat but gently rippling like the water surface.

The inside is also fun like a maze, and is the space is not at all confined.

The museum houses numerous paintings from Hiroshi Senju’s early days in his twenties up until present, paintings in various themes. They exhibit different paintings according to each season, so visitors can enjoy their visits repeatedly.

For example, one of his paintings from his twenties, is philosophical, like a ruin of a building and in his thirties, the colours change to vivid shades and the motif to beautiful forests and river sides, and the landscape of great nature.

Furthermore, the painting titled “Waterfall” has become very famous now. It is the one that received an award at the Venice Biennale.

This waterfall was not just drawn with a paint brush, but paints were blown onto and run down on the canvass, created in special methods.

After that, in his painting of a rock cliff, the paper was crumpled in his hand, and all sorts of interesting efforts were made.

Currently in the museum, there is a space displaying Suiboku (Indian ink) on Japanese traditional paper. The changing clouds in the sky are painted in many different patterns and when they are lit up, the paintings look as though they are glowing from the inside.

In Karuizawa, there is also the Karuizawa Beer on which my brother Hiroshi’s painting is featured. It is very pleasing to see, and the beer is delicious indeed.

So naturally, I feel affection to Karuizawa as though it was my hometown.

At the end of this summer, His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus and Her Majesty the Empress Emerita visited this museum. Hiroshi, Akira and I were proud to have the honour to welcome them. Michiko, the Empress Emerita walked with her hand in the hand of the Emperor Emeritus all the time. I felt so happy to have watched them so closely.

His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus and Her Majesty the Empress Emerita both gave us their kind mention about our performance at Emperor Akihito’s 30 years of enthronement ceremony in February this year. They told us about their special thoughts on Okinawa, and it was truly a most touching moment.

At the end of their visit, we had the honour to present them with the Karuizawa beer, and we were so happy to see them greeting us with their radiant smiles.