Stones in My Pocket:
On Grief, Change, and Myths of Death & Rebirth
Bowing to the birds

Animal People

Akitaka Ito

After yesterday's long essay, I thought something a bit lighter would be nice for today: the whimsical, wonderful watercolor paintings of Akitaka Ito, based in Tokyo, Japan.

Ito was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1979, graduated from Tama Art University (Department of Graphic Design) in 2003, and has been a member of the Tokyo Illustrators Society since 2009.

You can see more of his enchanting work on his website, and on Tistory.

 Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

"Every animal is a tradition, and together they are a vast part of our heritage as human beings. No animal completely lacks humanity, yet no person is ever completely human. By ourselves, we people are simply balls of protoplasm. We merge with animals through magic, metaphor, or fantasy, growing their fangs and putting on their feathers. Then we become funny or tragic; we can be loved, hated, pitied, and admired. For us, animals are all the strange, beautiful, pitiable, and frightening things that they have ever been: gods, slaves, totems, sages, tricksters, devils, clowns, companions, lovers, and far more."

  - mythic scholar Boria Sax (from The Mythical Zoo: An Encyclopedia Of Animals In World Myth, Legend, And Literature)

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

"We poetically construct our identity as human beings, together with our values, largely through reciprocal relationships with animals. They provide us with essential points of reference, as well as illustrations of the qualities that we may choose to emulate or avoid in ourselves. Any major change in our relationships with animals, individual or collective, reverberates profoundly in our character as human beings, in ways that go far beyond immediately pragmatic concerns. When a species becomes extinct, something perishes in the human soul as well."

  - Boria Sax (from The Mythical Zoo)

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."  - Colette

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

Akitaka Ito

Comments

I am in love with this artist's work! Thank you for the introduction.
And thank you for yesterday's rich, rich post. I keep returning to it.

I so love this post! There seem to be people who "get" animals and people who don't. They either understand on a cellular level about them or they are so alienated that they don't get it at all. Here in the States there was just a program on PBS about animals and their friends, the premise of the entire show being that animals have emotions not unlike people. Isn't it time that we stopped believing that only people are important?

Those are some of the best animal paintings I've ever seen - the creatures *live*!

These paintings are a joy!

(I am a Tree People.)

I speak English
My cat speaks cat
Never do we ever wish
To change any of that.

My can runs frantically
I wait for some message.
Suddenly I do see
A kind of cat/person bridge.

We sing to each other
In otherworldly ways
And neither of us bother
To ponder on our lyrical maze.

My cat prompts me to go
To the closet, I know not why
He may know the way to
Fairyland is there. Oh my.

Adorable.

Aw, thanks.

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