Bushido

Bushido Series

Paintings

Bushido or The way of the Warrior is the moral code of the Japanese Samurai, comparable in some ways to European chivalry. The term Bushido is best used to describe all the practices and principles of Samurai culture. In keeping with my own belief that people are defined and character revealed by their immediate reaction to adversity, physical or emotional, the two major themes of my Bushido series are time and character.  

Through my exposure to both karate and my years in the U. S. Marine Corps, I have witnessed the enormous improvements people can make in their lives through discipline and hard work. When I first encountered Samurai philosophy during my studies at Hokkaido University, I felt an immediate connection with its focus on loyalty and the desire to make one’s life useful. A Samurai trained his whole adult life to be useful to his lord. Marines train in anticipation of service to their country. The culmination of that training often results in a single second’s reaction to a challenge or mortal threat.

The Bushido Series paintings often include a ‘swoosh’ of thrown paint representing that split second when character is revealed. To achieve visual spontaneity, I use a large, soft calligraphy brush and hurl the paint in the arc of a sword movement. This takes a practiced arm, as the paint lands on laboriously applied 24k gold leaf, and there is no room for error.

I explore themes of sacrifice, character and loyalty in my painting with a focus on that precious moment of revelation—the instant character is revealed through bold action. Sacrifice in the service of others is for me the most delicate and beautiful act a man can perform. 

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