November 11, 2011
Japan has come into my life when I was a teenager. One of my good friends, whom I describe in this post, helped me discover it. It felt like I was a sea explorer, standing on the deck of a ship which has just floated out of a thick fog, only to be faced with a sight so extraordinarily beautiful – a land of poems, prints, classical theatre, the culture of admiring sakura blossoms, netzke, origami, architecture, kimono, unique literature, history, and mythology. Ever since that time, Japan has never left my heart. Whenever it felt like I know something about Japan, a multitude of new information would bring me out of that certainty. Although I often wished that I could say – many years later, having read so many books – that I know something about Japan.
I have been very lucky to meet Noriko in Toronto. I found that she is able to express many aspects of Japanese culture that are impossible to put in words. Noriko is the kind of person you’d always want to be around – and watch her performances. As a former ballerina and current instructor, she doesn’t just create choreography, she comes up with elaborate pantomime.
You can also admire her sculptures and paintings. Although the most important thing to me is just enjoying her company. At those moments, I am visited by the feeling that the world can be quite harmonious – at least while you’re spending time with Noriko.
These photos from Noriko’s performance were made with the generous permission of the owner of the house and fitness instructor - Judith Thompson