The Incident of The Scroll Painting ?
Sudden Attack by a Cat
M. With the mention of original paintings, I suddenly remembered
that incident about the scroll painting.
A. Oh, about the scroll painting!
M. Once I moved to a new house. Of Japanese design. I asked
you for a scroll painting, and prepared good white paper.
You demanded a bucket of water and a pile of old newspapers
to avoid dirtying the floor. After that you told me to leave
everything to you. I waited outside for 30 minutes and nothing
happened. I wondered whether something had gone wrong. So
I got into the room and took a look. And you were reading
the newspaper (laughs) and had not even started drawing a
single line (laughs)!
A. In fact, I had never scroll painted for others. Since you
invited me early, I had to accept it. I told myself I must
do a great job, though at times I thought of being sloppish.
Nobody's going to discover that! (laughs) Anyway, I pretended
to be an expert from the beginning, like asking questions
on the quality of the paper. I never expect you to bring the
paper samples to me! (laughs)
M. I remember those samples too!
A. Thus I felt the real pressure! I tried painting on those
papers, and found the quality of be excellent!
M. Of course! I bought them with much care!
A. On that day, I came to your new house. A very neat Japanese
house, with those expensive sliding paper panels. The moment
I started painting, there were thunders and rains, which remind
me of those great scenes in movies!
I felt uneasy about that, and didn't wish others to watch
when I was painting. You are very considerate, and left all
to me. I thought I would not seem serious enough if I finish
painting so quickly. After brooding for a while, my eyes suddenly
fell on the contents of the newspapers about the third victory
of Sino-Japanese Dragons. I got so interested and started
reading it ...(laughs) Where did you get those old papers?
M. It's great, wasn't it?!
A. When I was reading, you came in! It's so embarassing!
M. I thought you could not allow others to watch you painting,
like the story of Night Crane. I never guess you were reading!
(laughs) I remembered later you took only five minutes to
finish the scroll painting! A four-sided scroll painting,
to be exact. To tell the truth, were you that well-planned
or did you jerry-build!?
A. That's what I call the power of concentration ... (laughs)
I read the paper beforehand, which calmed me down! (laughs)
M. Really? (laughs)
A. And though it didn't take me much time painting ...
M. Just five minutes, to be exact!
A. It exhaused the same amount of energy as in running thousands
M. But I didn't notice a single drop of sweat!
A. I hid that deliberately!
M. I would rather you show off all your power! It'd have touched
A. Anyway, it's a painting which gives such pleasure!
M. You remember you complained being attacked by a cat? It's
just because you dislike cats and dogs!
A. Dare you mention that! You sent your cat with a bell to
watch over me!
M. I didn't mean that! It was just the time for letting cats
A. "Letting cats"? I remember how I screamed for
M. I thought it was a bear which frightened you! But it's
only a cat!
A. I really love those scroll paintings, and had wanted to
try that long ago. When I painted the feeling was so refreshing!
M. Those apple and orange on the scroll were originally intended
to be sun and moon. But they are what I perceive them to be!
A. The picture you mention was produced at my office. I produced
many, in fact, and chose that as the best!
M. But that's really terrific! Last time we two spent our
holidays at the Hot Springs. I found in my room a painting
resembling yours. But that was produced by an 80-year-old
painter having accumulated decades of experience! But the
design is really not much different from yours with only 40
years of experience!
A. Using black paint for that round sun is so appropriate!
M. In the past history, only those painters belonging to noble
families could produce real circles.
A. The so-called "genuine/ legitimate circles."
M. But Mizumura's circles have already reached that stage.
A. Do you mean I only know how to paint circles?!
M. Mizumura's circles will become so famous sooner or later.