When I spent a summer at home in my hometown during my junior year of art school, I painted a total of two artworks. One featured children in my neighborhood on a size-25 canvas, and the other was the mountain view from the top of Mt. Inasa toward Yoshino mountains, which I did on a size-40 canvas. When I returned to Tokyo at the end of August, I entered the two pieces along with “Nirvana” (a watercolor) for a total of three artworks at the exhibit for the Teacher’s Education Department. I received rave reviews such as from Professor Itaru Tanabe suggesting that students from the Oil Painting Department should view my artworks. His suggestion gave me the idea to enter those two oil paintings in the Nika Contest, which was prestigious art competition in Japan. I asked my friend to enter my artworks–the first time I’d submitted works to the event–and I went on a graduation trip to Kansai. Upon returning to Tokyo I was ambushed by newspaper reporters, and learned that I was a recipient of the Nika Award. It is said that a renowned artist, Hanjiro Sakamoto, pushed the piece with children while other members of Nika recommended the mountaintop piece.
24 x 31 3/4 in.