Friday, April 18, 2014

class reunion (4)

You may remember that I had started a series of etegami depicting nostalgic scenes and items from Japan's Showa Period (1926–1989). Early Showa was a disturbing time of war and treachery, but by the time I was born, it was an optimistic age in which to grow up.

Former schoolmates of mine, from the international high school we all attended in Tokyo, have been getting together online to plan a major 70s decade reunion to take place in the United States this summer.

I can't attend, but I thought it would be nice to share in the spirit of the reunion by painting and posting etegami that evoke the feel of Japan in the 60s and 70s. That's what the earlier etegami in this series were all about. But I designed this particular etegami for the reunion itself. I'm hoping to print this image on small magnets or postcards, and ask for them to be handed out at the reunion as souvenirs.

The image is that of Koinobori, the carp-shaped windsocks that are flown from flagpoles or lines stretched across rivers and other open spaces to celebrate Kodomo no Hi (sometimes called Boy’s Day, but more often called Children’s Day), a festival held in Japan on May 5th. The carps represent the parents' desire for their children to grow up strong against adversity, like the legendary carp who swims against the current of the river and leaps up waterfalls to magically turn into a dragon. I’ve always thought the row of carps makes a wonderful image to represent people who are connected to each other. Like family or classmates.


  1. Wow! What a great idea. I am sure you will miss the Reunion but I am sure too everyone will miss Tou. Your etegami celebrating this reunion coming up is perfect for the purpose.

  2. What a lovely etegami and very appropriate for the occasion

  3. My class is having a reunion this year too, though I haven't decided yet if I'll go. Looking at your fish I kind of wonder if I should since we are all connected. Interesting how many thoughts and memories can come from an image. Nice job!