"ISANATORI" 2006-2008

When you look out to sea, you’re struck by a sense that it goes on forever, as though it’s the end of the landscape. My gaze always focuses on what’s beyond the horizon: the other shore.

In Japanese tanka poetry, “isanatori” (“whale-hunting”) is used as a makurakotoba (“pillow word”)* to refer to the sea.
Watching the sun’s golden orb sinking beyond the sea, our ancient ancestors envisaged a pure land in the west. This sun worship still survives today in Buddhist ritual. I can’t help but imagine how many people must have entered the sea dreaming of finding that radiant paradise.

*A figure of speech used in classical Japanese poetry to allude to a specific word.