Chair in Tree Shade (published in Japanese in 2009) is a monologue in the form of seven-line verse, about how to face the death of a loved one. At Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, I found the emaciated body of Jesus obscurely painted on the Tree of Life. This mural reminded me of a painting at the Buddhist temple in Japan where I grew up: a painting depicting Buddha, reduced to nothing more than skin and bones, achieving enlightenment in front of the big Bodhi Tree. Just as Jesus was skillfully incorporated into the Tree of Life, Buddha was drawn as if a part of the Bodhi Tree.

I have seen this motif in other places in my life. During his last days, my grandfather got very thin and started to resemble an old, withered tree, returning to being a part of big LIFE, or reuniting with Mother Nature. My late grandmother did the same. I’ve seen people going through similar processes in Japan and Canada. Therefore, this monologue-style guidebook describes how to sit in a chair next to a loved one who is going through this process.




Chair in Tree Shade