Chapter 1 “The foundation~Success without growth” by Tadahiro Kandori

Chapter 1 “The foundation~Success without growth”

In regards to art, I did not do anything or had any particular interest in it. The only thing I had, was a general knowledge on art, and a slightly better skill with my hands than others.

All my memories as a student, were about getting better at basketball. All my memories in my 20s, were about dating a pretty girl. With no big changes, I was about to enter the door to my 30s, when in the autumn of 2008, the United States investment bank declared bankruptcy.

The Lehman Shock. The world was panicking, into an unprecedented recession. Across the ocean, even a small Japanese company, was getting approached, by a wave of depression.

Kandori Industry. The company that I work for. It started from my grandfather’s generation, followed by the 2nd generation led by my father and his struggles, to the 3rd generation led by twin brother. During my father’s times, it seems very difficult. But after my brother and I have entered the company, during my father’s generation, even with the twists and turns, we were able to escape the struggles.

However, such a company, was mercilessly attacked, by the wave of the Lehman Shock. Four-day work week, salary cuts, no bonus. At that time, what I felt was not about “Surviving now, but rather when a similar “depression”  comes again someday. We must get the “means” to overcome it. At that time, I chose to work at a network business, as a second job.

In Japan, it was a special job, that was neither good or bad, but is talked about in various ways. I did not care how people thought of me. “I believe what I saw, and I trust what I believe.” One thing I can say is that, because of this job, I was clearly able to hear, “My serious switch” go from off to “On.” I walked the red carpet at Yokohama Arena, and made a speech, in front of 1000 people. Though still far from perfect, I was called “a successful man,” and everything started going right. Surrounding myself with people I trust, A bright future opening up in front of me. It was fun, and I believed that everyday will continue without change.

One day, such a gear that should have been rotating normally, began to make strange noises, without any warning. My day-to-day work stopped going well. I was not in good physical condition. And sitting in a chair and working became intolerable.

It was a feeling, that I had in me. It was a feeling that, “no matter how many times I repeat this, I can no longer ‘grow’.” Rather than improving something, I was required to not stop “the cycle,” and it was necessary to do so. It may have been my own misunderstanding. However, even if I thought so, I was not the kind of person, who could falsify it. It was at that moment, when “parting with the people I trust,” crossed my mind. At such time, “My grandfather passed away.”

Chapter 2 “The inheritance~Collecting poems”

My favorite person.  My beloved grandfather passed away. Straightening his posture, his sharp look stared straight at you. He was a dignified person, who naturally made others reconsider their own way of life. My grandfather was doing something, when he was on the verge of getting sick. He bought, what is now called, “the computer.” And with unfamiliar hand and eye movements, he frantically typed “something.”

Every single day. It seemed like he was possessed. On the screen of his computer were the words of “Manyoshu (8th century anthology of Japanese poetry),” he oldest surviving wakashu (poem collection) in Japan. There are more than 4500 poems. He would first, type each poem as it is. Then, he would write his “thoughts” on it. In the end, after receiving the poem, my grandfather will add his “own poem.”

My grandfather would always say, “If I die, please burn it.” I thought he was a great person. I was fascinated by his attitude and enthusiasm, rather than the finished “product.” At the time, the job I was doing as a double work was, “work that chases dreams with companions.”

However, many things started piling up, and I was unable to keep each thing up. Then I suddenly decided, to turn my back on my “companions.”  At the time, whatever the reason, I was too embarrassed, too ashamed, too sorry.

In Greek mythology, the greatest sin was,“betraying your companions.” Those who betrayed their companions and deceived God were imposed with a penalty, called “The Stone of Sisyphus.”

Carrying a big stone to the top of the mountain. The stone rolls down to the bottom from the weight. Then carrying the stone to the top of the mountain again. It is repeated forever. Such pointless, simple task, causes a spiritual collapse.

I decided to give myself the same (similar) penalty. A difficult and simple repetition. However, a punishment, with a slight chance of a future. The winter was freezing in 2012. This was my turning point, and a reason, for others to start calling me an artist.

Chapter 3 “The Epiphany~A dignified stance”

First, In order to face myself, I canceled my phone plan. (For the next 3 years, I did not have one.) Then, I devoted my time to reading books. I always had a book in my pocket. I read while walking, read before going to sleep, read right after waking up. I read right after work, read before starting work, and secretly read during work. I drew lines in the books. Wrote the underline parts in my notebook. From left to right, I wrote on paper by hand. 

This may seem pointless at first, and I had no answers when I was asked, “Why do you do what you do?” Yet, I still devoted my time on books, and continued to face myself. Sentences that I thought were good. Words that I thought were funny. Stories that excited me. A great figure’s action that surprised me. Numbers that showed true nature. The mechanism of the human body. Even though I do not usually understand them, mysterious words that leave an impression. I have an accumulation of these.

It is, my 6767 (currently 10000) business card-sized cards, That I have written, all the random, and various words I have came upon.  I copy these, on a B5 size paper (7.17 x 10.12 inch) and make a copy of the shrunk version, and created a 325 page “dictionary.” I just wanted to be like my grandfather. And gather the things that I think are “interesting.” This was, a penalisation for my companions, and a conversation with my late grandfather.

It took 7 years. It is not perfect, but it is finished. This effort, became my reason for living, and the source of my unwavering confidence. I received, an ability to not let go of my image, embody it, and hold onto it strongly.

Since I was little, I felt that others thought that I was “a little strange.” My ideas were different from people, the place I was looking at was not aligned with others. And I put value, on making people surprised. My underlying unusual characteristic, And the frameworks of the many ideas that I have learned were combined.

An “excellent writing” are the swirling of shapes and colors, hints and ideas for creative works. Writing is the mediator for creative works, Inspirational images, are played like notes, that are lined up on a music sheet.  Not so much making it, but being a spokesperson. Not so much producing it, But being a mediator. Not so much working on it, But being a performer. There is, one “constraint” there. This style of carefully layered rules, is the origin of my creations, and it will continue being so.

My dream,

is not about having a job,
involving something I like to do.

My dream,

is to protect the important things,
that have been passed down from generation to generation.

“Fulfilling” what I want to do, I may be able to do so someday. Because I want to “cherish,” my future companions. For this, The creative work that I thought hard for, Has a circular communication, Called art. Lastly, if possible, I would like to laugh again, with “the betrayed companions.” If that is possible, I do not need a dream.

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