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January 2012

The First Spring Wind From Germany


The autumn in 2007. It was unforgettable year for me to make up a big collaborative event "Trave Art festival 2007 in Kamakura" with my darling German artists.

One of the German participants Kerstin Kempe was a potter who created her pottery-work based on Japanese Rakuyaki technic. She and three Japanese calligraphers and I made up a group exhibition together during the festival. At the end of the fes, she gave me some pieces of her lovely potteries. I still keep them as my cherishable treasure.

It was one year later that we got a tragic news. Kerstin passed away by cancer. This news dejected us so deeply, indeed.

At the end of last December, I got an e-mail message from a German friend after long interval.. It said "Kerstin's daughter Marie,who is travelling through Japan, working and wondering. She is on her way to Kamakura to taste the air, her mother breezed. She asked, if we could arrange a place to go, maybe a place to sleep, and who, do you think, we thought about? Right, you, whom else? Do you agree that we give her your adress? She is really lovly." Oh, oh, why not, Thomas!

And lovely Marie Kempe and I could meet each other yesterday. Oh my goodness, she just looks like her mom! As if Kerstin comes back to us!

21-year-old young Marie is using the system of WWOOF, which is an international organization to arrange a sort of working holidays. She studies and gets experiences of working at some organic farms in west area in Japan. And she stopped by Kamakura on the way to next farm working.

Some Trave members and I got together for a small welcome party for her at my house, and we tried to show her Japanese traditional New Year's celebration. About her mother, about herself, about ourselves and about something in future... talking, talking and talking with eating/drinking to the late at night...

Lovely smile and soft speaking, just like her mom. At the same time we can see strong will and independency, just like her mom's art work.

Good luck, Marie. See you really soon.

To the memory of Kerstin Kempe.


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