“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Ɯbermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarÄ«, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hananuma Masakichi

Love and death are a strange combination.
Hananuma Masakichi was a Japanese artist who learned he was dying from tuberculosis. He wanted to leave a parting gift to the woman he loved. He made a statue of himself that is so life-like and realistic, people couldn't tell which was the fake even while the real Masakichi stood next to it.

Working with adjustable mirrors, Masakichi made each body part separately using strips of dark wood. Records differ on the number of strips used but it is between 2,000 and 5,000. The statue is mostly hollow inside. No nails were used; the strips were assembled using dovetail joints, glue and wooden pegs. They are joined so perfectly that no seams can be seen, even with a magnifying glass. The wood was painted and lacquered to match his skin tone and reflects every tendon, muscle, bone, vein and wrinkle and pore.

Masakichi also handcrafted glass eyes that are so technically and visually perfect that they still baffle members of the optical profession.

What came next was stranger still. The artist bored a tiny, individual hole for every pore on his body and plucked the corresponding hair from that pore and inserted it at the exact position on the statue. In this manner he covered the entire sculpture with all of his own hair - head, beard, backs of his hands, legs, eyebrows and eyelashes (yep, and "that" part, too). Then Masakichi pulled out all of his own fingernails, toe nails and teeth and carefully put them in their exact place on the statue. As a finishing touch he gave the statue his glasses, his clothes, a sculpting tool and a tiny mask he had made. The figure appears somewhat emaciated because the TB was already taking it's toll. He was 53 when the amazing statue was finished in 1885. Masakichi held a private exhibition of his work. He stood beside the artwork to the utter confusion and awe of the audience who could not tell which was him and which was not, nor comprehend how such a magnificent work had been created.

He managed to hang on for ten more years, and in spite of his incredible talent, died in poverty.

Sadly, the statue was badly damaged during the 1996 Northridge, California Earthquake while it was in Ripley's "Believe It or Not" Los Angeles "Odditorium", on display. It was one of Robert Ripley's more prized possessions and while he personally owned it, kept it in his bedroom on a curtained podium. .After it was damaged, it was housed in the Ripley warehouse, awaiting an artist who can match the skill of Hananuma Masakichi and restore it to it's original perfection. Someone recently wrote to me to say they had seen the statue in a museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but I haven't been able to confirm this or find out if it's the original statue or some kind of copy.

By the way - the real Hananuma Masakichi is on the right.

From: Masakichi statue

A more recent photo:

"Hananuma Masakichi was a Japanese artist who, when he learned that he was dying, wanted to leave "a gift" to the woman he loved. He made a statue of himself that is so realistic, people couldn't tell which was the fake even while the real Masakichi stood next to it. He even used his own hair, fingernails & even his own teeth in building the statue. Apparently it was damaged while in storage during an earthquake in California a few years ago. I did notice that the ring finger on his left hand had some damage but that's all I could see."

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16860572@N07/4172648575/

Kudos to Draconian1.

3 comments:

Delta said...

Amazing!!!

Vill said...

This was probably on Ripley's believe it... or not!!

Reverend 333 said...

I saw this or a copy of when I was a child taking a trip to San Francisco. It was at the Ripley's Museum at the Bay. I had a small paper book from the event, but since have lost it.