I was born in an area in Japan called Shiga Prefecture, which is a nature-rich country town. by Takaaki MANO

I was born in an area in Japan called Shiga Prefecture, which is a nature-rich country town. My grandfather was fond of poetry, literature, and philosophy. My father was an art teacher at a high school, and while he taught art, he continued to pursue his professional field of Japanese painting. My mother was a vocalist and taught music in a university. Likeso, I was raised in an environment surrounded by nature and art.

I was a bit of an odd child. There were times when my conscientiousness entered a meditative state, and the world I saw became blurry. I remember getting scared from time to time. I also had a sense of unity with the visible world, and believed that everything was manifested by god. I thought this world was full of profound mysteries, but my days were filled with a feeling of bliss. However, such unique senses disappeared as I entered school and before I knew it, I was thinking that “god does not exist.” I became a materialistic human being. 

After entering my local high school, I was beginning to get sick and tired of the Japanese educational system, and hardly studied. Moving onto university was not a choice for me, as I was barely able to graduate high school. After graduating, however, I was faced with a difficult question: “How should I live?”

For the time being, I decided to get out of my country town and start living in Kyoto. Getting hired at a company was not in my mind, and I made a living off of different day-laborer jobs. Yet, no matter how much I work for the time being, I was unsatisfied. At the end of every day, I asked myself, “why am I living?” It was a feeling of regret, similar to giving up, and only frustration was building. 

Eventually, when the sun went down, my days were spent drinking my way around the red light district. I met a lot of street performers during my time there. When I saw them perform, I was shocked to the core. I felt the freedom and the lively motion of life. I soon became close with these musicians and I spent every night in the town, singing with them until the morning sun rose. From there, I also became close to some artists and would visit their live performances and exhibitions. I lived like this for a year, but started feeling a sense of emptiness. “I want to know the truth.” Such thoughts began to boil within me, and the frustration started building up again. Around the same time, a musician friend had just come back from a trip to Nepal, and was telling me all the wonderful stories from his trip with glistening eyes. Listening to his stories gave me an impulsive urge, and I was on my way to Nepal the next week. I was 19.

flowers #8

Acrylic on canvas
20.8 x 17.7 inch
€415 ($491)

If you wish to purchase, please contact us.

Nepal was full of nature and rustic countryside, which gave me peace. However, I strongly desired to know “the truth,” and so I visited a temple, which was said to be a sacred place, and talked with the yogis (yoga practitioners). One day, I was suddenly encountered with a mystical experience, which I later learned was the “Kundalini Sublimation.” My consciousness surpassed duality and became one with god. My materialistic consciousness returned back to its younger state, where I found god again. I once again understood that the soul is forever, and everything that can be seen is manifested by god. I was wrapped by a feeling of bliss, and the passing clouds were colored in rainbows. “I am enlightened!” I was ecstatic and immediately returned back to Japan. However, from there, I face even more difficulties. The feeling of bliss disappeared within 3 weeks, and I returned to the “normal” conscious state, where I felt the pain and the struggle. Yet, the enlightenment I felt in Nepal was still there. Therefore, I was living in this world while awake. “How am I supposed to live in this undeveloped society?” I was confused, and became severely depressed from the excessive stress and was unable to get out of bed. 

After every despair, I got up after 1 and a half years, and while doing rehab, an urge started rising up. “I want to prove that I am still alive.” It was a strong feeling. Dragging my heavy body, I spent everyday drawing pictures, taking photos, and writing words. I wanted to express my existence in any way possible. 

After that, I joined a group exhibition in my hometown, Shiga, and opened a solo exhibition, published photobooks, autobiographies, short stories, and essays. Since then, my place for activities has expanded from within Japan to the world. 

Currently, I am not only expressing myself through art, but also constantly seeking world peace. My artworks, be it a painting or a literary work, provide love, awareness, and blessing to someone. The things that I can do are limited, but I would like as many people as possible to act upon the basis of love. I hope in this era of great transformation, the Earth will safely shift to paradise, and the day will come when all humankind in the world can laugh together.

“Your single word/review can change an artist’s life.”

Do you like this artist? Do not hesitate to leave a review!
Just a single word, or a review, can build an artist’s motivation.
You can be a source of inspiration for the artist and their next amazing creation!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *