Kakejiku Healing Bags Series Home

Spring 2010

Artist Statement Copyright 2006 - 2010© by eriimamura.com

In Kakejiku Healing Bags series, I search our spiritualities in current Japanese society. I depict Medicine Buddha as known as Yakusi Nyorai, and two Bodhisattvas serving the Buddha, Bodhisattva of Moonlight as known as Gakko Bosastu, and Bodhisattva of Sunlight as Nikko Bosatsu with Japanese people in the past and present. Also the Sanskrit symbols on the bottom of each panel represent the each Buddha and Budhisattvas. In Japanese Buddhism, people traditionally pray these Buddha for healing and salvation in their lives.

In"Gakko Bosatsu - Moonlight Budhisattva : from Kakejiku Healing Bags series", I express Bodhisattva of Moonlight, ???? Gakko Bosastu, with traditional and contemporary Japanese women in night life, a geisha and a cabaret girl. Bodisattva is one who vows to save all beings before becoming a Buddha. By lunar radiance the Bodhisattva of Moonlight is sending the Japanese women healing messages from Medicine Buddha. The geisha girl with a gorgeous Kimono is showing her beautiful shoulder a little for men, which pose was considered very sexy for men at that time. And the contemporary cabaret girl with also a gorgeous and sexy night dress, shows off her skin more such as her shoulder and a whole leg to men with a sexy pose touching her lip with a red long nailed finger. Even thought there is no male figure in this piece, these girls attitudes imply the male existence in the society, which these female always have been depending on. Also, in"Nikko Bosatsu - Sunlight Budhisattva : from Kakejiku healing Bags series" , I express Bodhisattva of Sunlight, ????Nikko Bosatsu, with traditional and contemporary Japanese women in day life. This Bodhisattva of Sunlight holds the Sun disc on the left hand and lotus on the right hand riding lotuses on both feet as well. The contemporary business woman, with sophisticated white suit, stylish accessories, a watch and a pile of files, confidently stands on her own feet with sexy high heels. She represents an independent woman as a role model in the contemporary values, who supports herself with a respected job fighting and surviving in male predominant society. And the traditional Japanese bride with beautiful traditional white and red wedding costume stands modestly with downcast eyes. She would follow and support her husband in every way, cook every meal and take care of her children very well as a role model in Japanese traditional values. And the Bodhisattva of Sunlight above them is watching them and sending wisdoms by solar radiance. There is also no male figure but you can see the powerful male influence in the society these women are in. By these pieces I think of women life in the society; Are those women saved and healed? Which woman follows the right values and views? In the meanwhile, The Bodhisattvas of Sunlight and Moonlight are sending the Medicine Buddha wisdoms to the all,

“May all who are caught in Mara's net, entangled in negative views, be caused to gain correct views and thus practice the Bodhisattva Way”.

In "Yakushi nyorai - Medicine Buddha : from Kakejiku Healing Bags series", I depict Buddha of Medicine & Healing, ????Yakusi Nyorai. Yakushi literally means Medicine Teacher. Medicine Buddha’s right hand’s pose means fearlessness. Medicine Buddha’s left hand holds a sacred jewel or a jar of medicine, which is said to contain a miraculous emerald that is capable of curing all sickness. This Buddha heals all kinds of physical and spiritual illnesses, saying,

"May my body be like pure radiant lapis lazuli, with radiance more brilliant than the sun and moon, illuminating all who travel in darkness, enabling them to tread upon their paths."

In the bottom of the piece, Japanese males are thinking and standing on a one U.S. dollar bill losing their direction in smoke. Above them, the Medicine Buddha, with various colors sapphire and ruby jams, appears in the three-dimension and illuminates men in the two-dimension. It represents Japanese status quo; Japanese people are chasing money believing in capitalism based on US Dollar. Facing the economic crisis from the U.S. , we are now realizing this fact and questioning the value of money, the value of Capitalism. By illuminating the society, the Buddha in higher dimension is trying to heal and lead them toward a right direction. However people today are too busy to pray, forgetting about their spiritualities instead believing in Capitalism. Do we still get the healing of Buddha? Can we ever be healed?

Nikko (Nikko) is the Bodhisattva of Sunlight (Solar Radiance) and Gakko (Gakko) is the Bodhisattva of Moonlight (Lunar Radiance). They are sometimes depicted holding solar and lunar symbols, with Nikko grasping a red solar disc ?? and Gakko a white lunar disc ??. The two appear most frequently as kyoji ?? (two attendants on either side of the central statue; sometimes pronounced “wakiji”) to Yakushi Nyorai

mudra for bestowing fearlessness