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A farewell to Santana Miyazaki

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When my former law partner Jay Marks and I held a law firm opening party over thirteen years, on the guest list I added Sayuri and Santana Miyazaki, after previously speaking to Sayuri by phone, having been connected by our mutual friend Jun Yasuda.

This was the start of a few wonderful meetings over the years with this fascinating, optimistic and utterly peaceful couple. Sadly, today I learned rather late that thirteen months ago Santana passed away in his native Japan. I have no more details than that; Google points to little.

Santana was a very talented and inspiring artist and human, painting bright and optimistic colors, including of his beloved Mount Rainier, Maryland (including here and here). I first learned of Santana’s art when he brought a beautifully colorful postcard of his art to our party. His widow Sayuri is a poet, who brought me a pamphlet with some of her photos. I surmise that the art and poetry lost their way in one of my subsequent office moves.

Sayuri floored me in 2002 with her presentation of her poem “Enola Gay”. As I recounted at the time, read first in the original Japanese, and written about six years earlier at the airplane’s then site at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Sayuri’s Japanese made clear to the speaker of any language her feelings and sadness and pain not just about the Enola Gay, but about war itself.

A few years ago, Santana and Sayuri returned to Japan, where they apparently stayed. Here, Sayuri sings a farewell song in Japanese to fellow Mount Rainier residents. To her left, seated, is Santana.

I agree with the concept that peace in the world begins with peace inside each of us. Santana already was peace when I first met him, and so is Sayuri. They very much inspire me to be on that path.

If anyone knows where I can reach Sayuri Miyazaki, please let me know. In the meantime, I will check with others who know her.

Thanking and bowing deeply to Santana Miyazaki.