The Character:志, is a compound Chinese character. Meaning in Japanese: Kokorozashi. It is commonly translated as: a wish, intention or ambition. This particular caligraphy is a bit of a visual pun. Usually, the top character is 士 for Samurai. But in this calligarphy, the top character by itself is 土 and means earth or clay. The bottom character心, is for heart/mind/spirit. The heart beneath the ground is a seed, or promise of what might be. I heard from my teacher Tatsuzo Shimaoka, that his teacher Shoji Hamada once said, “You must do your work with a joyful heart.” So I also read 土 over 心 as “The Heart that carries the Clay.” It is the key for the modern, self-aware studio artist, if they want to tap into the same source of power as the Unknown Craftsman. Hamada & his Mingei group knew this intimately, but in English, we were only gaving a few hints and glimpses. We were told a little about Jiriki or“selfpower” , while in Bernard Leach's writing and translations, more focus was place upon Tiriki or “other power.” Educated people have always had access to jiriki. It is the approach of Zen.
Soetsu Yanagi, as a preserver of folk cuture, and therefor focused on the Unknown's “other power”, tariki. He did much to preserve the past. But we live in the present and we are educated people. We have to work within our conditions. We need not turn our backs on our education, but we should use it, rather than blindly letting it use us.--Lee 李 Love