Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh no you didn't...you couldn't...oh Amaterasu...

When I wrote my addendum to my post on the incipient minister's calligraphic forays I did not know that Kyūma Fumio was intending to do this:

Courtesy: Reuters

Funny thing is, from this angle, it almost looks OK.

From the center or the left side though...not so much.

Sadly for the Minister, tonight's Nikkei, Mainichi and Yomiuri front page shots are all taken from far less flattering angles.

Honestly, you really have to be a little full of yourself to not delegate this one task to an expert.

Then again, like I said in September, he was really, really, really looking forward to being the guy unveiling this damn sign.

Chinese leaders must be laughing their butts off.


Jun Okumura said...

In fact, this has been common practice, no doubt harkening back to the old days, via China, when members of the imperial court were expected to be masters of The Four Arts, which includes calligraphy. It also saves money.

Two quick searches served up three kanban examples during the 2001 makeover, when Takeo Hiranuma and Chikage Ohgi inked their respective ministerial kanbans, but Kiichi Miyazawa firmly refused to do it and MOF had to hire a professional.

The "MOF" search also turned up the fact that in 1964, Prime Minister Ikeda drew a new kanban for MOF at the request of Kakuei Tanaka, who was MOF Minister at the time. Kaku-san was probably channeling Kinoshita Tokichiro (later Toyotomi Hideyoshi). Shisaku, that's how you get ahead. Let that be a lesson to you.

But you're right, Mr. Kyuma should have demurred.

Anonymous said...

Dear MTC,
sorry to disturb you, but I heard on a TV Channel that, actually, Kyuma-san did not write the kanji on the kanban: "Ma ni aimasen deshita", said the news program. But don't quote me, because I am not positive about that. Another picture posted on your blog shows that he is writting the boeisho's kanji, but that wasnt't the ones used for the kanban.
The French reader

MTC said...

Points taken.

I do like the fact that a number of the dailies felt it necessary to reassure their readers that Kyuma's artwork represents only an interim solution. Last night's Yomiuri called the sign a 仮門標; Mainichi called it a 仮看板. This morning's Sankei (there is no evening edition) also calls it a 仮看板.

MTC said...

The French reader -

Perhaps this means he was not able to complete his calligraphy in time for it to be cast in bronze.

Thank Amaterasu for sloth, in this instance.