Among the words of a language few words, like “love”, reflect in their etymology, or in our case in the meaning of the signs that compose the ideogram, the deepest and archetypal instances of a civilization. The kanji “ai” (愛) is composed of three ideograms that return its final meaning, and which we summarize with the word “love”. Looking at the kanji from the bottom to the top we find: 夂, a pictogram depicting a foot that drags wearily; 心, or the heart, the symbolic core of human feelings; 旡 (indeed in a completely different modern form), which means filled, full. The end result of this composition is a heart full of pain that is dragged by suffering.
From here it is easy to frame the role of love in a philosophical religious vision in which the transcendence of feelings puts us in a state of grace and peace while, on the contrary, amorous transportation places us in the flow of things that brings with it the pain of participation in things that change.
The work, made on a thick shikishi (色紙) cardboard with golden edges by the female calligrapher Keisen (恵泉), is in very good condition.