Tuesday, September 7, 2010

thunder and lightning

A few weeks ago, I received the happy news that a baby boy had been born to friends of mine in Canada. They are not Japanese, but they have a passion for Japan, and they chose to name their son Raiden, the Japanese word that can mean thunder and lightning, or used as another name for Raijin, the mythical creature that controls thunder and lightning. I don't know the story behind this name choice (it's actually his middle name), but I do know that it is evidence of their love of Japanese culture.

Well, I went and promised my friend that I would draw an etegami to celebrate his son's birth. Coming up with a design turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. After dozens of problematic attempts, this is the etegami that I decided I would have to settle for. It represents Raiden/Raijin in the stormy clouds with the ring of drums that he hits to produce thunder-- Altogether too dark and stormy an image for a newborn baby boy. But he won't be a baby for ever. What I wish for him is that he will grow up to have the mental and physical strength of Raiden, and that like Raiden, he will serve a meaningful purpose on earth and for humankind.