i have always been an admirer of Japanese Art and culture. Obvious love for their bikes on this site, but many aspects of their art outside of machinery have been inspirational. There are Japanese lanterns I build from steel and stone and Japanese maples all over our property, a koi pond, Zen garden, and black bamboo plantings. Inside, vintage Meissen Kimonos that my wife re-purposes into purses and eyeglass holders. My other passion, circuit bending, is focused largely on Japanese Casio keyboards. As a child, I read a story attributed to Japan that has intrigued me since, and come to personally define the process of art, and in this case particularly, bike building for someone beside myself:
" A man came to an artist's studio and asked him to paint a particular fish. The artist agreed, telling the man to return in one year to pick up his work. At the end of the year, the man returned to the studio to claim his painting. The artist sat him down, went to his easel, and proceeded to flawlessly and swiftly paint the requested fish in a matter of minutes. The man was amazed but also annoyed: "if you could have done this in just a few minutes, why did you make me wait a whole year for it?" The artist said nothing, but opened a cabinet door, and a thousand paintings of the fish fell out."