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“Mori no Jyakumokusha (“The Silent in the Forest”)


Every day I take a walk on the forest road with my dogs, and often come across animal feces lying around, of which the color and shapes vary according to each season, from which I can easily understand what those animals eat in the forest.

In summer, beautiful iridescent insects gather around those feces, so they look like jewels on the path. When I observe them closely, I find them eating the feces intently, and within a day, those little bits of feces will disappear. By the time when summer is over, the carcasses of the insects will be found on the path, around which ants will gather and take them away within a few days.

As one of the reasons that triggered my interest in the words of Shakhamuni Buddha, is ‘Ichiya Kenjya no Ge (Hymn of Ichiya Kenjya), which is a verse that appears in “The Mahākaccāna-bhaddekaratta-sutta” of The Majjhima Nikāya, one of the primitive sutras.

“Hymn of Ichiya Kenjya”
Do not chase the past or make wishes for the future
The past has already been abandoned and the future has not arrived yet
So just observe the present as it is
Understand well and practice, without agitation
Just do what you should do today, with zeal
Who knows whether death comes tomorrow?
There is no reason why we shall not encounter the army of the God of Death tomorrow
Thinking thus
People who perform their duties ardently and relentlessly,
Who toil day and night,
– Ichiya Kenjya – The silent in the forest
– Quotations from Page 36, “Amida Kyo no Kotoba Tachi (Words of Sukhāvatī-vyūha)”
When I see the actions of animals and insects, I am affected unintentionally by the severity of the cycle of nature that maintains the ecological balance, and I end up with a heavy heart. However, as the insects and animals themselves may not be aware of the important role they are playing in this recycling, without sorrow for the end of their lives, without worry about food for the next day, but just sustaining their lives doing whatever they must do as planned by nature.

As this image reminded me of the verse “Hymn of Ichiya Kenjya”, I considered them as sages and drew these insects, they, who live each day silently and to its fullest.


“Mori no Jyakumokusha (“The Silent in the Forest”)

Media: Wood, pencil, and gold paint.
Size: About 56×65cm


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