What an amazing journey the salmon take each fall, returning from the ocean, migrating up the river, over the rapids, and finally to their spawning grounds! On the way to assure the birth of a new generation of their kind, they become food for countless creatures, who themselves, are trying to survive and perpetuate their own kind. The Japanese words on this corrugated cardboard etegami say "Life is desperate for everyone."
Etegami (e= "picture"; tegami= "letter/message") are simple drawings accompanied by a few apt words. They are usually done on postcards so that they can be easily mailed off to one's friends. Though etegami has few hard-and-fast rules, traditional tools and materials include writing brushes, sumi ink, blocks of water-soluble, mineral-based pigments called gansai, and washi postcards that have varying degrees of "bleed." They often depict some ordinary item from everyday life, especially items that bring a particular season to mind.