Second O’Kunchi by Julie Harms

3 responses to Second O’Kunchi by Julie Harms

  1. Ah, Okunchi! I went to this festival in October! An absolute blast! And I was just at Glover Garden, looking at some of the floats and what not in the Performing Arts Center! Spent my Valentine’s Day locating the elusive “Heart Stones”…

    Anyway, brilliantly done here! I don’t know much about art, so I may be completely off the mark, but did you deliberately incorporate the influence of Japanese watercolors into your work, or am I just imagining things? Also, I see a slight influence from Paul Gauguin, but again, that may just be the perception of a naive American. I think it’s stunning, nonetheless!

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    • julie harms – Author

      Ah, Okunchi !…I lived through two. I remember the drums and chants and flute (or something resembling the sound of a flute) beginning at 3 or 4 in the morning and each time passing by my window (and on work days too ! thank you very much !). I lived in the Suwamachi neighborhood, there was an electric pole right out my balcony, and hundreds of electric lines sprung from it, I came to think of them as being fish nets. As you might already know O’kunchi is a harvest festival, where ultimately, a child representing a fisherman, will throw a net from each of these chariots, to catch fish symbolically. Did you realise that there are no electric lines above a certain level ? That’s where the cemetaries are. Up the hill. I remember thinking we were the fish, the lines were the net, above the nets were the the dead. Pretty gloomy, I know, but I was on observation mode all the time.
      Anyway, the paintings of O’kunchi come from the pictures I made from my balcony. I loved the care and attention the participants put in their chariots. Some of them are exposed in a museum near Glover I think..
      Was I influenced by Japanese water colors ? maybe. I don’t know. Was I influenced by Gauguin ?….mmmh, maybe, I don’t know.
      We all have different perceptions of things. If you say so, because that’s what it made you feel like, then I guess you’re right. What matters is the feeling, not the explanation or the influence.
      You will find a heart shaped stone near Spectacle bridge. Stand with the bridge on your left, look down at the stone wall of the bank in front of you. You should see it. If not look for the tourists taking pictures of it.

      Thanks for the “stunning” comment. I’m preening. Maybe one day I shall tell you about my epic fight with a cockroach!

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