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Theory of Happiness

I glance through the viewfinder. Move slightly while adjusting focus. Then I’m

down on my knees before I realize it. People looking here in the brightness.


I feel that I have known them from long ago. They respond like I know them. 

When was it that the phrase “new family*” came into popularity, which everyone

living their separate live? That sentiment reminds me about seeing what appeared

to be a very close family walking together. But when I look at the photos, the

camera shows they are not acquainted.


At first, I am reminded that they are families, not individuals. Or perhaps the

final ghosts of the institution called home. Promises and conventions of ties to

the land and ties to each other, Shinto and Buddhist practices, ceremonies and

rituals with neighbors, house-hold matters and concerns, the daily work of un-

hesitating adults, harmony and conflict, mystery and discovery, ongoing ex-

change of the heart and soul.


The world seems to have aimed toward a definite direction and progressed along

that path. There are times of losing the way and times of finding the way. It’s a

constant surprise, different people and varying senses of the world. Right before

me is the direct look that satisfies all curiosity, the freedom of a bad temper, a

lively sense of affinity, the grace of a lasting smile, a hint of shame, a full laugh.

There are the prologues to stories.


On a day when the sun is shining brightly, I go out with my camera. In the instant

of a breath, the certainty of a glance can reveal the sense of what is truly precious.

*new family : refers to families composed of spouses and children born after

                       the baby boom that followed WWII. Conceived of by advertisers

                       and retailers, couples in the "New Family" mindset treat each

                       other like close friends, rather than in a patriarchal fashion; they

                       are generally family-minded; and are attuned to fashion.

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