Japanese Prayer Wall

Japanese Prayer Wall

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Special Gifts of Praise

Sadao Watanabe was an amazing Japanese Christian artist.  He lived from 1913-1996, but his artwork continues to inspire people around the world.  He used a technique called katazome.  A website devoted to Sadao Watanabe explained his technique:

How does Watanabe’s katazome technique work? First of all there must be a design. Sadao Watanabe drew his design on tracing paper and used that to cut out a stencil. The stencil is made of multiple layers of washi paper that are bonded with a persimmon solution to strengthen and waterproof it. The stencil was put on a light box and the printing paper on top of the stencil. As the stencil could be seen through the printing paper the colors were painted. When the colors had dried, the stencil was placed on top of the paper and, after a paste was drawn over the design, the stencil was removed. The effect was that only the painted areas were covered with the paste and not the lines that should be black. After the paste had dried, black paint was brushed over the entire design. The paint just adhered to the lines that were not covered with the paste. Next and last step was to wash the paper in water to dissolve the paste. When dried a new work of art was ready to tell a story of the Bible! (https://sites.google.com/site/sadaohanga/informationaboutwatanabesadao)

Here are some of my favorite prints by Watanabe.  First, in honor of the season of Advent, this is The Annunciation (1982).

When I look at this painting, I image Mary saying, “Who me?!”

Next, The Baptism of Christ (1968).

The Last Supper (1978).
I love how the Japanese culture is reflected here.  The disciples are seated on the floor in Japanese style, and they’re eating fish and sushi.
 The Crucifixion (1980).
There are many ways to praise God.  I’m overjoyed every time I hear my kindergarten class singing “Jesus Loves Me” in both Japanese and English.  I’m relieved when I can pray with friends about our concerns and can thank God for the many blessings in our lives.  I’m happy every time I watch a friend teach Sunday school and show children that God is truly amazing.  Also, I’m filled with hope and peace when I see artwork, like that of Sadao Watanabe, which glorifies God.  Whatever skills or talents you have, use them to praise and bring glory to God.  What special gifts of praise will you give Jesus for his birthday this year?
To learn more about Sadao Watanabe and to see more of his artwork, please visit this website: https://sites.google.com/site/sadaohanga/home

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