This bonsai tree was 800 years old when it died. Yet, even through death and the many years since, it still shares its beauty with the world. It has changed from a vibrant green to a stark, abstract shell. But it is still a bonsai tree; a tree that in both life and death brings a unique exquisiteness to the world. Despite the changes it has gone through, it is now a piece in a museum as a new incarnation of its former self.
With the first anniversary of the tsunami in Japan approaching, this photograph and Wheel of Life both capture the feelings about such a gigantic emotional episode in Japan’s history. Wheel of Life charts the ups and downs of existence with a deceptively simple circular form. “It’s about the life process,” Miwa explains, “from birth, struggle and the beautiful moments, then the bad and ultimately back to the beginning.” We all go through the ups and downs of the wheel of life, and Japan is experiencing it on a larger stage over the past year.
Through the epic changes wrought by the waters, Japan has come out a still beautiful nation. It has changed, but it will continue to persevere. The Japanese people are in our thoughts as they continue to rebuild their lives into new ones with new dreams.
Photo by Kirsten Alana.