The kanji ‘fu’ in Japanese sounds like an aspirated ‘who’ to English speakers. Appropriate enough to the question contained in it . . . [Calligraphy & reflection by Aida Mitsuo.]

As a calligrapher, I like the character Fu very much and often write it. Fu is used to make a word negative or opposite in meaning.

In my case, I use it as a symbol when I am asking my true being what I would be if I were to negate or discard the layers of decorations I have made for myself.

What are these decorations?

All humans have ways of decorating themselves as they go through life. Education, title, status in society, fame, fortune, possessions. Our sense of value seems to be the more decorations we have, the greater we are.

If these decorations that humans wear were completely set aside, and our true naked selves were all that remained, what would we be?

I look to Fu to find that answer.

And though I’ve written the character many times, I’m never quite satisfied.


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