ueno · my ema

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Ueno was a place and time so long ago that I can’t quite be sure if I’m remembering it properly but here it is anyway.

Our first significant day trip was to Ueno. I didn’t have any particular expectations going in but I thoroughly every inch of Ueno that we explored. It was a walk away from my normal life. And the trees that blocked the industrial city atmosphere made the experience that much more special, I feel. It truly took us away from our busy lives and slowed us down. Definitely, this was a beautiful trip.

In Ueno, I got to live a bit of animu-life by writing on an Ema my wish and aspirations. I also was able to pick out my very first omikuji here. I thought it was such a fun experience. There’s something about living out my childhood that felt very satisfying.

Ema (絵馬, lit. “picture-horse”) are small wooden plaques, common to Japan, in which Shinto and Buddhist worshippers write prayers or wishes. The ema are left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) are believed to receive them.

My Ema consisted of simply how thankful I was of the opportunities I’ve had thus far. Also, as far as wishes go, I basically low ball myself all the time with them so that there’s a bigger chance of fulfilling them myself. Lol. Is that bad?

Anyway, I decided I would give my Ueno painting another try, here’s a watercolor redraw in comparison to the original! I take this chance to recreate to match my Red String series. Hope you guys like it so far!

My redraw is basically my way of making myself feel better after realizing that I was no longer fond of the composition of the original. I think it’s okay to not like my work all the time as long as it’s a healthy dislike. As long as it doesn’t affect how often I produce work or how I mentally feel, then I can dislike my art. I also thought that since I didn’t like it, what could I do to make it better. So, I ended up repainting it. It’s not yet completely done (or even close to it) but I’ll add it to my gallery when it is.

I think the distinction I mentioned before is also why I don’t wish often or wish for big things. I am mostly thankful than filled with wish these days. Therefore, that is what my Ema consisted.

What would you write on your Ema?

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