Mami Nakamura’s Profile
Mami Nakamura, a painter and an illustrator, graduated from Mie Prefectural Tsunishi High School and Tsuda college. While at the college, Nakamura studied Japanese-style painting under Hosetsu Tanaka. After working as an English tutor, a translator of picture storybooks, and an NHK satellite broadcast newscaster, she set her mind on painting as a profession.
Nakamura created 460 illustrations for a newspaper serial story entitled Ten, Chi, Jin (Heaven, Earth, and Man),” which was later broadcast as a long-running NHK TV drama. This illustration series drew people’s attention to her works of art. Her masterpieces include Tsutaetai Nippon no Kokoro/The Japanese Mind We Wish to Share (2008~), which is a collection of her illustrative paintings for the covers of a periodical entitled Budo (Martial Arts) published by the Nippon Budokan, as well as a portrait of Naoe Kanetsugu (in possession of Niigata Prefectural Library), and many others. She has held a large number of displays and exhibits of her illustrative paintings. Nakamura also serves as the Tourism Goodwill Ambassador for the Saiku Ato (the former site of a historic palace of Saio, a maiden princess serving for a shinto shrine) in Meiwa-cho, Mie Prefecture. Furthermore, in 1986, she won the 19th Miss Japan Grand Prix.
As a college student, she studied about the Legend of Hagoromo (the celestial robe of an angel), a kind of swan maiden story, and searched for the true sense of being Japanese through depth psychology. Later, she made a picture story book entitled Kaki (Persimmon) as a supplement to her graduation thesis. At a special talent show for the 1986 Miss Japan Grand Prix, she presented it in English and Japanese. The judges sang the praises of her talented performance, which helped her win the grand prix.
In 2007, a little over 20 years after having won the grand prix, she began publishing a series of illustrative paintings, each with an original short story, which is entitled Tsutaetai Nippon no Kokoro/The Japanese Mind We Wish to Share. This publication was based on the ideas that she had cultivated over the years, introducing a series of paintings printed on the front cover of a periodical entitled Budo (Martial Arts) published by the Nippon Budokan. Nakamura has continued her research on model conduct, moral sense, and the spiritual traditions of the Japanese people while exhibiting her original illustrative paintings and giving lectures in various locations.（Translation by Masako Hayakawa)
About “The Japanese mind we wish to share” and" Von Amaterasu Bis Olympia"
What is the Japanese spirit?
What is it to be Japanese?
I have thought about this ever since I was a child. The wonderous stories about Japan relayed to me by my parents and grandparents have lingered in my mind and give me energy every time I think about them.
The stories that everyone knew in the old days express within them aspects of Japan’s history, traditions, and important spiritual culture. They may very well represent wisdom of our ancestors wishing for the happiness of future generations.
We wanted to create a tale weaving historical events into a story depicting the true form of Japanese people continually through the ages. To this end, from 2008 the Budo Monthly magazine featured a new cover picture and explanatory text each issue titled ‘Japanese mind we wish to share ‘.We hope you will enjoy this picturebook with your family and friends all over the world.（Translation by Alec）