TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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The Second Purest Form of Love

I was once helping a friend who was an art designer organising a dancing event at the Domon Ken Museum of Photography. She is an extremely artistic person, and her thoughts for the event was that it should be about the love between mother and child, as that was the purest form of love.

I had never thought about that, but it’s true. You can’t get a stronger bond. Your mother is your home for the first months of your life, and then they are there for every milestone. My mum was there for everything.

Yesterday I talked about a Penny Lane Magnet that my mother owns, and while I was thinking about it, I was reminded of the film Departures (spoiler alert, go see the film if you haven’t already! Departures, called okuribito in Japanese, not The Departed).

The film shows a time when a father and son were skimming stones at the river. They then exchange stones to show their love for each other.

Then we learn that the father had left the son and his mother, and the movie continues with the main character becoming someone in charge of placing the body in the coffin, which is traditionally a very dirty job in Japan.

The main character learns that his father has died, and shocked with the way in which the amateurs handle his body, the son takes over, and it’s discovered that his father was holding the stone that his son had given him all those years ago.

This was particularly moving for me as (at least I felt) it symbolized the deep connection between father and son, and I happened to be watching it with my father.

When I came back to my dad’s house after I found out he had died, there was a book lying on the couch that he would have been reading probably the day of. The thing is, the bookmark he was using was his boarding pass from his trip to Japan for my wedding just 6 months prior.

This for me, symbolizes how such simple objects can become so intrinsically important when they are connected by love.

Although you can’t get a stronger bond between mother and child, the second purest form of love has to be between father and child.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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