paint heaven and anger the gods
so the trailer for miss hokusai advertised one type of movie, and then the actual movie was …. something else entirely. but the trailer gave me ideas, so here they are:
there is girl –
there is woman –
there is a young woman, an old girl, and she has the eyes of youth but the weight upon her shoulders is that of age. or perhaps it is the other way around. perhaps she has the eyes of age, but upon her shoulder is the weightlessness of youth, of ignorance.
there she is, whatever she is.
her name is kana.
she is the daughter of a famous painter, known as juro. he is a man larger than life, and he paints wonderful things. he takes what is ugly, and makes it beautiful. he paints an unhandsome woman as a goddess, a sneering merchant as a king, a dirty city as a glowing capitol. he leaves all he touches brighter than it was found.
kana is not like her father.
she is a painter, but she is not famous. she has a mother she doesn’t speak to, and younger sister she visits as much as she can. she has pushed them both aside to follow her father, to sit with him in dirty shacks putting ink to paper as she does her best to make beautiful things. she throws off the expectations of her gender, of her station, of anything and everything in her pursuit to be a master painter.
technique is easy. she completes half of her father’s painting while he drinks, while he whores, while he seduces lords and ladies, while he paints empty things for empty people, while he leaves her alone in their dirty shacks. she can do the detail work, has a steady hand and a sharp eye, but when it comes to the whole picture – it is left lacking.
“her work lacks your beauty,” an old man says, talking to her old father while she kneels in the corner, ink staining her hands, the floor, ink just – staining.
“of course it does,” her father says, offhand. “how can she paint what she does not know?”
kana never expected lack of knowledge to be her downfall.
so that night when her father is gone, she does not stay in
to work. instead kana paints her face, wears a kimono that’s too small on her,
and goes to the worst part of the city, to where the alleyways and walls are
stained red by the glow of the lanterns.