National Change and Transformation

soto copy

Artist Rafael Soto


understanding, heart of sun,


“After the 2011 tragedy (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear), Japan set about recovering with a dignity and courage that moved the world.

Just as in 1945, the Japanese will recover and rebuild.  The question is: can a new Japan emerge?”

Letter to Japanese Friends, by Dr. Paul Briot and Leiko Ishizuka

The question is two-fold:  are individuals capable of fundamental individual transformation and what would such transformation look like on a societal or national level? 

This section deals with national change after March 11th and the opportunity for fundamental transformation that could lift Japan beyond its previous best.  This is not about economics, politics or the military, but rather the human spirit.

We believe that Japan thanks to this crisis will rise again. Not uniquely in an economic or political sense, but in a moral, aesthetic, existential or spiritual sense.  Our hope is that the Japanese can use the March 11th crisis to break from rigid structures of the mind and create a Japan with greater comprehension, compassion, liberation and realization.


Japan as a collective force elevates itself spiritually.

“To rebuild an old Japan in the current international context is not enough.  To write a glorious page of its history, Japan will need to emerge from this crisis far beyond its previous best.”  — Letter to Japanese Friends, by Dr. Paul Briot and Leiko Ishizuka

For this philosophy in face of natural and man-made crisis to take hold, we have to go beyond words (words alone tend to put the Japanese asleep).  That is one good reason why it is important to work with talented Japanese artists who can turn this new philosophy or curve into a shared collective experience.

–Will readers experience such a curve in a novel by Kenzaburo Oe, Haruki Murakami or other talented writers that can capture Japan’s new spirit?

–Can the music of great composers such as Toshio Hosokawa or Ryuichi Sakamoto inspire and move both individuals and a country to new heights of compassion?

Toshio Hosokawa

Toshio Hosokawa

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto

–Will both small and large projects by talented architects such as Toyo Ito or Shigeru Ban inspire a new way of living together?

–Will Hayao Miyazaki’s animation incorporate a sense of space that liberates us and makes “our souls want to greet the wind, the clouds, and the beautiful earth?”

Ryo Ishikawa

Could the focus and compassionate spirit of a young Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa move Japanese youth?

Jakucho Setouchi

Will Seitouchi Jyakutcho inspire us to new heights through a new novel?

And for all Japanese who serves others in silence.

And for all Japanese who serve others in silence.

We believe if Japanese artists begin to create great works of art that man has never before seen, citizens will begin to realize something important in Japan is happening…

We will then not only be able to visualize this curve but experience or live it as a collective force.  Through both small and large acts of knowledge and compassion by talented Japanese artists, leaders and citizens, Japan could undergo a national transformation.

It is precisely because the crisis is deepest in Japan (triple disaster tsunami, earthquake and nuclear) and because the Japanese are capable of great focus when inspired, that we believe fundamental national transformation on a collective scale could begin in Japan and spread to other nations.

This transformation may not look like what is occurring elsewhere in the world nor be marked by public demonstrations: it just may be a silent spring that starts by small sparks of intuition.

As Japan changes and important progress is made, it will naturally have to be careful about rising nationalism which may not embrace a spirit of freedom and compassion for all individuals and nations.

Should positive transformation in Japan occur, we in Europe and the US when our crisis are far deeper, may in turn look to Japan and realize what is humanely possible.  We too will choose to elevate something noble within ourselves and our countries.  In doing so, we would encourage other nations to follow in full freedom.  Together, we just may collectively re-invent ourselves and our world at a time when it is highly desirable and still possible.


understanding, heart of sun,


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