Reflections on Sadako Women

One of my favorite pastimes is going to an art museum. I truly believe that frivolous art has the power to save us. Save us from bullshit artists, barbarism, excessive rationalism, and maybe even ourselves. Is that too much to expect from ourselves? Not if we embrace the idea that we are all in some ways artists with the heart of children.

I went to the Yokohama Art Museum in 2016 in one of the worst of moods. I had no faith in the world or in myself to change anything about it. But I thought an afternoon of art might help me escape. If art is escape then it cannot be something that saves or purifies, it is simply escapism. But what if something about art itself actually empowers us to fight tyranny?

The video was of women talking about their most personal secrets as they had their hair down in the style of a Sadako monster. The idea that a woman can become a Sadako, an angry vengeful spirit is one you’ll recognize from the “Grudge” movies, which came from the Japanese movie “Juon” (though there are many more Sadako movies). But the idea behind the Sadako disguise is that hiding one’s face and pretending to be a monster can also be liberating. It gives women the freedom to tell their secrets.

I can’t say that I understood it all or that a simple Sadako exhibition can be the thing that cures our barbaric ways once and for all, but I do suggest that you take the time to enjoy art. It’s the greatest public service you can do for your soul.

After all, if you take the time to puzzle over something, it makes it harder for you to be cruel to others. And the simple act of watching and suspending judgment is perhaps one of the most divine human acts there is.

What do I hope you’ll do today? Take some time to be unique and frivolous. The fate of the world just might depend on it.



[Reference to picture just downloaded]

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