My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Saturday, May 19, 2018

70th annual Nakba Day commemoration

Nakba Day, May 15th, 2011

I heard gunshots on Nakba Day, May 15th, 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon as I participated in the border demonstrations that took place between Lebanon and Israel.  While walking with a lot of people toward the border, I imagined the Nakba Day of 1948 when 700,000 Palestinian refugees were driven out of their hometown and crossed the border, after the Palestinian territory was occupied and Israel was founded. There was a sinister atmosphere caused by the tension that something serious might happen. On that day, young Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. I heard that those Israeli soldiers were surprised at the sound of Lebanese soldiers shooting toward the sky to stop Palestinians from approaching the border, and started shooting. On the way back, I noticed and can't forget that, people were weeping inside the bus.

New York City, May 16, 2018

The tragedy of Nakba continues even now after 70 years. It will not end unless the Palestinians regain their dignity as human beings. The Jews who experienced the Holocaust should understand what human dignity is and how important it is. In New York City, on May 16th, 2018, the day after the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day, the organizations of "Jews Say No! "and "Jewish Voice for Peace - NYC " hosted and invited Jewish communities to come together in order to support Palestinians' freedom, dignity, and right to return home. Despite the rain and the urgent rally, a lot of people participated. I felt hope for the future in our mourning for those who were killed in Gaza. Most of the people at this rally were Jews who listened to the speakers very seriously. Everyone repeated together the speaker's' words to make our voices and hearts united for Palestinians. 


On May 17th, 2018, I went to see the movie "Killing Gaza” by Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen screened at "Revolution Books" in Harlem the next day. The situation in Gaza, as seen in the movie, was much worse than I imagined. Through this movie, I felt that it is very difficult to release from and heal from trauma and brainwashing but I was deeply impressed by and was able to trust the resilience and vitality of human beings. In the last scene, the young Palestinians expressed themselves very powerfully through dance, painting, and poetry. I believe the best way of expressing their lives is the key to overcoming this situation. I am thinking about my project "In search for the meaning of our lives" that I left behind by recalling the exhibitions and workshops at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon 7 years ago. I hear the sound of knocking at my door.

Demonstration opposite US military base on Jeju Island in Korea 

Arts to End Violence

Thursday May 24 - Thursday, June 7. 
Gallery is OPEN on Tues. Weds. and Thurs.  
Contact: mcwilliamse@crownheights.org 
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 24, 6:30-8:30 PM
Closing  Reception:  Thursday, June 7,  6:30-8:30 PM
Ron Taylor Gallery: 1160 St Johns Place, Brooklyn NY 11213 
Hosted by Crown Heights Meditation Centre 

My work is about the US military base on Jeju Island in Korea. The United States has more than 1,000 military bases in about 150 countries. It is the top military force in the world and it has  the largest number of soldiers. The US military base has been constructing facilities on Jeju island in Korea for years. There is a tragic history of massacres of Koreans on this island. Due to the intervention of the United States and the Soviet Union, Korea was divided by the 38th parallel into two states, north and south, despite being one nation.

These photographs are taken from the demonstrations against the US military base on Jeju Island in Korea. After a peace festival which Korean and Japanese people carried out on Jeju Island in Korea, the participants appealed for solidarity with people opposed to construction of US military bases in Okinawa, Japan. Construction of the US military base has destroyed nature, and has negatively impacted residents’ lives in many ways. 

my key

Brooklyn Art Book Fair
Robert Blackburn Printshop Monitors

May 25, Friday, 6-9PM
May 26, Saturday, 12-6PM
Free & open to all
McCarren Park Play Center
776 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brookly, NY11222 
More info: www.bkabf.info 

will present an artist book "your key" and original etching plates, and sale small prints entitled "my key”. 

“Everybody is born with a key for finding purpose in their life.” Based on my concept, I collected discarded keys to make 365 etching plates of different keys and backgrounds. These 365 key plates imply our birthdays and daily lives. The white embossed key prints are expressions of invisible keys in our mind. When we notice the presence of our key, our true life begins. 


Printmaking Workshops for seniors

May 17 - Thursday,  1-3PM - Collagraph
May 24 - Thursday,  1-3PM - Collagraph
May 31 - Thursday,  1-3PM - Chine-collĂ©  
Jun 7 -    Thursday,  1-3PM - Chine-collĂ©
JASA CLUB 76
120 West 76th Street, 
NYC 10023

This series of artist-led workshops, organized in conjunction with the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop introduces contemporary, easy approaches to printmaking.
I will volunteer for June 7th.


Discover Your Collagraph

June 23,Saturday, and 24, Sunday
10:30AM - 2:30PM
The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts 
Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop
http://www.rbpmw-efanyc.org/classes-registration/collograph
323 West 39th Street 2nd Floor NY NY 10018  
646-416-6226  rbpmw@efanyc.org

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Peace Walks and Commemoration of Nuclear Disasters


Every year in March, I recall the nuclear incidents at Fukushima and Three Mile Island.  There is an annual peace walk in March to commemorate the 2011 Fukushima disaster led by the Buddhist nun Jun Yasuda with the Grafton Peace Pagoda.
I have been interested in “peace walks” since 2014. Recently, I joined the silent rally ”NO BASES. NO WAR: No U.S. foreign military bases in Okinawa, Korea, Philippines and beyond” on February 24th. I reunited with peace walkers. I was handed a flyer about their annual March peace walk. Jun-san, invited me to participate in the walk and I decided on the spot to do so. My photos of the walkers were selected for a group exhibition called Resistance. 


I was anxious about walking long distances it turned out that I could keep up. I only participated for two days but that was enough to cultivate trust in the other walkers by eating, sleeping and walking together. My body and mind became warm by walking with everyone.   I felt spring in the footprints that remained in the snow covering the sidewalks. It was a special experience that showed me the meaning of the words "speed of trust" that I had heard at the meeting called “BUDDHIST ACTION: MORALS, VISION, JUSTICE” held at the Union Theological Seminary on February 3 rd.

I don’t have a religion but I have been feeling the importance of listening to my own voice and establishing trust relationships with others. It is necessary to have places to connect to diverse peoples’ voices. March 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the Three Mile Island incident. I hope to hold art exhibitions in order to raise public awareness about that event. I am looking for collaborators. Please contact me if you are interested in this project. 



Water Walk for Life 
For a Nuclear Free world

March 1st, Thursday through March 11, Sunday
11days - 140 miles: Prayer Walk from Grafton, NY to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Peekskill, N.Y. 

In solidarity with Water Protectors of Standing Rock and in commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of the Fukushima Disaster.

For the first time I walked a long distance: twenty-four miles in only two days. We walked from Latham Circle to Knolls Atomic Laboratory, Niskayuna to Schenectady on Saturday March 3rd, and prayed in front of the laboratory and nearby contaminated rivers. 


The next day we were praying front of a vast vacant land surrounded by fences which is called a superfund site. It is a site contaminated with depleted uranium fuel pellets in a residential area near Albany.

A resident appeared and testified that many of his neighbors have various cancers, and his skull contains 11% Depleted Uranium by being exposed. The United States Environmental Protection Agency decontaminated the place. However there is still radioactive contamination in this neighborhood. The Army Bureau is planning to build a park in this location.


Photo by Yuriko Yamaki

7th ANNIVERSARY OF FUKUSHIMA Not just About Japan
Art, Music, Meditation

March 5th, Monday 6:30-8:45pm
2 W. 64th St. NYC 

While showing my images I talked about my hometown Yaita city and Shioya town where became the candidate site for nuclear disposal in Japan. Keiko Koshimistu announced "Anti-Nuke Power Art" Exhibition. Other Speakers : REV. DR. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki and Alice Slater



Women in the Heights - Resistance

March 8, Thursday -28, Wednesday 
Opening Reception: March 8, Thursday 6:30- -8:30pm 
Closing and Artist Talk: March 28, Wednesday  6:30-8:30pm 
Rio II Gallery: 583 Riverside Drive, NYC
Curated by Andrea Arroyo

My work "under this sky : peace walkers" was selected. My talked about my experience of participating the peace walk.




7 years After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster  
Historical Analysis and Current Challenges 

Saturday March10 6:30pm
Maryhouse: 55 East 3rd St. NYC between 1st and 2nd Ave.

I helped to organise this event. I met Hiroko Aizawa at the symposium of "Nuclear disaster in the world" in Tokyo last year. She is a journalist living in Fukushima. Kyoko Sato is conducting a multi-year study on nuclear governance in Japan and the United States. It was a great opportunity to hear of their informative resources. They came to research about Indian Point. Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition had related event on March 11.


Shioya town: the candidates sites for disposal of nuclear waste.

Anti-Nuke Power Art 

Sunday March 11, 12:00-10:00pm
Opening Reception: March 11, Sunday, 6:00pm~10:00pm.
175 Maplewood Avenue Bogota, NJ 07603
(201) 952-2617 by appointment only

My work "under this sky: Nuclear waste issues” was exhibited. I am involved in activities to bring the Chernobyl method to Japan. I organised to have skype talk with Toshio Yanagihara who is our representative and lawyer to explain our activities.




Exposure to Radiation: X Years part 2

Sunday April 1, 6:00pm 
Hills Learning
50 East 42nd Street – Suite 900
(Entrance and Building Name is 315 Madison Avenue)
New York, NY 10017

Director Ito is making Part 3 film that plans to screen this fall. It was a promotion screening to get some support and advise. I thought this movie is a key to connect Japan and the United States nuclear issues.

Exposure to Radiation:Post X Years 
65 min, Documentary 
Directed by Hideaki Ito

A sequel to the documentary film, "X Years Later (2012)" that gathered topics by covering the influence of the nuclear tests conducted by the US in the Pacific. New facts are emerging one after another, in front of director Hidetori Ito who had been interviewing in Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture. The survivor of the fishing boat who saw the previous work started up, and hearing survey started by searching for the survivors. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking back on my stay in Japan


This spring, I was informed by my mother that my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I recalled my memories when I volunteered to help local children get thyroid examinations in the fall, 2016. At that time, I heard from an associate that adult thyroid cancer had been increasing. Fortunately, my father didn't have cancer, according to a cell test after his surgery. Every time I saw my father's neck scar, I thought about people who have thyroid cancer, their families, and myself who have not had thyroid gland exams.

Radioactivity is invisible. Five years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, the residents who knew the level of radioactive contamination, raised their voices to protect everyone's lives. The residents' action led to the establishment of the "Chernobyl law" that supports residents in areas where radiation doses exceeding 1mSv per year in the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

Radioactive contamination now affects the whole world. There are 54 nuclear power plants in Japan. In 1999 there was a criticality accident in Tokai village and in 2011 Fukushima had a nuclear disaster. A movement to establish a "Chernobyl law" in Japan is increasing. I got to know a group, fukushima-iseshima-no-kai that is working on that law during my Fall 2017 Japan trip.


On October 6th, 2017 at 11:56 PM there was an earthquake of seismic intensity 5 in Fukushima. At that time, I was in Tochigi in my parents house. When the shaking began, a loud alarm sounded, I remembered the terrifying March 11th, 2011 earthquake. However no one talked about this October 6th earthquake. Dangerously crazy events are happening such as some Japanese nuclear power plants resuming operation while there are new threats from North Korea's missiles. During my stay in Japan, I experienced a small earthquake few times.

Night view of Tokyo

Japan's authoritarian government discards their embarrassing official documents, and denies responsibility for any problems. Under the influence of the corrupt government, some individual Japanese citizens have been acting irresponsibly. In Japan, I felt that a serious moral collapse had occurred and that feudalism was still deeply rooted. 

Gataro's artwork at Gallery Furuto

However, there was wonderful news of the Nobel Prize being won and that a Japanese Atomic bomb survivor was honored. A recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, was a Japanese British novelist whose mother was a Nagasaki survivor. Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow was to jointly receive a Nobel Peace Prize with ICAN which has been conducting international campaigns to abolish nuclear weapons around the world. This event gave hope and courage to many people.

I remembered that although the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at the United Nations, unfortunately, Japan, the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks, didn't participate. This July 7th, 2017 was Tanabata Day, a special Japanese day for making wishes. I live in the USA and learned that atomic bomb survivors are not only Japanese, but also Americans, and people around the world. As a Japanese person, I realize the importance of continuing to convey historical and scientific facts about nuclear issues more than ever.

 Takagi school:  Hisako Sakiyama Presentation

I went to lectures such as: Takagi school's civic lecture, Tochigi prefecture soil becquerel report by Junichi Onuma, a report on Militarized Ryukyu Islands by Yamamoto Hideo, a report on research achievements on global nuclear disasters, etc. In the meantime, the most precious thing was that I met people who are working on grassroots activities relating to the environment. In particular, participating in the activities of mothers who are working to improve the future of children, has become the driving force of my activities. 

My future task is how to transform these experiences and information into works and to spread the word to individuals and society at large. "What is right? What is fair? and What is reality?" is not clear, is not always the same, and is not agreed upon. In order to correct distortions and limitations in our perceptions, we need to strive for mutual understanding through open and honest dialogue with ourselves and with others.


A gathering of the sixth report and opinion exchange 
to hand peace to the children
Tuesday, October 10th, 2017  14:00 - 16:30
Tokorozawa Municipal Public Hall, Saitama
with sign language

Akira Takeuchi: "Article 9 of the Constitution Haiku" Representative of the Civic Cheering Team, Moritomo ·Kakei Accusation Project co-representative
Yasuyo Tanaka: Social Practice Artist, Educator  
Dany Nehushtai: Jews who came from Israel, Furniture Artist, Peace Activist.

West Saitama Unconstitutional Litigation Executive Committee
Security Law Unconstitutional Litigation Saitama Association

Osyorokooma

This was the second year in a row that I participated in this event. After Dany hosted me and Mr. Takeuchi's talk, we exchanged opinions with the audience in an open atmosphere. There was a person who told us the circumstances that made it difficult to raise our voice while shedding tears. We discussed how to improve our environment and that it is difficult for Japanese to raise our voices and grow democracy. We need to transform our consciousness so that we can be more empowering to each other. This will help our society and the world. After that, the organizer's "Men's cooking" deliciously cooked natural fish, Osyorokooma from Hokkaido and invited us into their home. Our discussion continued late into the night.


Orientation: Discover the mountain of treasure
Sunday, October 15th, 2017  10:00 - 15:00
Yaita Ports Park, Tochigi

Flower Planting
Treasure hunting and orientation
Activities of art and play

Vice Chairman of Japan Student Orienteering Federation:
Katsunori Yamakawa
Artists, Educator, Tochigi future ambassador: 
Yasuyo Tanaka

Sophia: 
Youth Leader Development · Child-rearing and lifelong learning support


The event started in light rain. However, the children were very energetic. I could see how much they were looking forward to this day. There was activity to decorate by planting flowers in their town. My mother participated as a volunteer and also enjoyed planting flowers with the children. I participated in orientation with children who ran cheerfully while I was thinking about my childhood.

Yaita City is suffering from radiation damage because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. This high radioactivity area was partly decontaminated and the strength of radioactivity has decreased. It has been six years since the disaster. After seeing the smiling faces of parents and children, I reminded our audience that we shouldn't forget the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.


Kids ECO art program  "small me and big you"
Information egg
from what I tell, to what everyone tells,
Friday, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th, 2017 10:00 - 12:00
Earth Plaza, Kanagawa

Host organization ”hinatabocco” 
2017 Children's Dream Fund Grant 


This workshop led to creating information eggs. Participants collected articles on ecological and environmental issues and then collaged them onto the paper mache eggs. On the theme of recycling paper, children and parents made spherical shapes with paper mache by using newspaper. We made round books in the form of information eggs which can be read in any direction. Mothers and children who are highly aware of society and education gathered. During the time, one of the members read a picture book on protecting the environment that each individual can do.I had a powerpoint presentation about my work. We display our work together. Everyone's ideas came out, one after another, and it was a very fun collaboration.