Framed Art Card - Rising Sun (9" x 12")
In 1888, my great-grandfather, Chief Charles Mountain Wilson, left his home village of Fort Rupert on a sealing expedition in Japan. Over the course of several years, he returned a total of three times and on one trip, stayed there for three years. He learned many Japanese customs, explored the growing metropolis of Yokohama and met a special woman. Through this relationship, he fathered two daughters who ultimately stayed in Japan when he returned to his ancestral homeland.
My grandmother would often talk about her half-sisters: wondering what they were doing, contemplating if they had had any children, questioning if they had lived through the turmoil of war and yearning to meet them. When I took Japanese in high school, she beamed with pride that I was learning the language of her sisters.
“Rising Sun” represents a fraction of the beauty that can be found in Japan: the iconic symbols of the pink cherry blossoms, the graceful cranes and the distinctive architecture. At its heart, it also explores the national symbol of the country—the rising sun. In my mind I can imagine my grandfather Wasamala and his daughters looking to the east over the ocean to where the sun rises. Having already passed over Kwakiutl territory, it comes up, tearing through the morning fog and lighting up the land. The Kwakiutl sun shines on its displaced descendants.