Itari Akayama
Humble Beauty
Japan

Japanese culture is a culture of simplicity and balance.  It imitates the harmony of nature, its silent grandeur and graceful simplicity.  Imitating nature is like imitating the art of God.  This may be the reason why everything in Japanese culture, from gardening to martial arts, is permeated with awe and reverence, reflecting the age-old wisdom that nature is not governed except by obeying her.  Similarly, this artless bisque nativity, placed in a setting of austere beauty is a welcome reminder of the Japanese philosophy of “moral geometry.”  Things spiritual and supernatural are too great and difficult for human understanding, but they may be expressed in humble awe with words and deeds of simple beauty.

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