In Search of an Identity (Spanish)

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(Spanish) I wanted to be a musician at one time. The words and sounds were close to me at one time, and the philosophy was, perhaps, the area that I opted for, as we say in academia at Catholic University, was the area which I chose, but then I found ceramics, and I believe that it was there where a certain kind of memory emerged related to Japan. I recall the start of my training as a ceramist; it began with my studies with two great teachers: Bernard Leach, an Englishman, and Hamada Shoji, a Japanese. I learned much from them, including philosophy, the life of a contemporary ceramist based somewhat on the life of a potter, of the anonymous artist, if you will, of the anonymous artisan, and I believe that it was at that moment where ceramics became significant for me. I found a link with Japan in addition to also finding a relationship with the pre-Hispanic history of Peru, but I also believe that at that moment the memory of someone whom I never knew awakened in me, that of my maternal grandfather, Guillermo Shinichi Tanaka, who died young, and I believe he is the person whom I continue to seek. I went to Japan in order to be an apprentice of a traditional Japanese teacher, Tsukimura Masahiko. The visit lasted two years (1979-1980), and I believe that [while I was there in Japan] I sought not only [to be a] ceramist but that I was also seeking family memories, of my ancestors, and yes, I developed a strong desire to get to know my family’s house, my maternal grandfather’s home.

Date: December 7, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Harumi Nako
Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

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