Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick

Episode 278 - Mako & Haejin Shim Fujimura, "Conversations on Healing, Art, and Resilience"

September 15, 2023 Mako & Haejin Shim Fujimura Season 12
Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick
Episode 278 - Mako & Haejin Shim Fujimura, "Conversations on Healing, Art, and Resilience"
Show Notes Transcript

“Risk-taking can lead to restoration only if it’s motivated by love.” - Haejin Shim Fujimura

In this episode of Restoring the Soul, Michael is joined by Mako & Haejin Shim Fujimura. They will engage in a conversation covering a wide range of topics, including trauma, the significance of 9/11, the art of Kintsugi, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the critical issue of human trafficking.

Mako is a prominent contemporary artist known for his deliberate and reflective approach to creating "slow art." His work, characterized by its thoughtful pace, has been aptly described by David Brooks of the New York Times as "a subtle rebellion against the accelerating pace of modern life." Beyond his artistry, Mako is a respected arts advocate, writer, and speaker, globally acknowledged as a cultural influencer. He has also held the prestigious role of a Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003-2009, where he played a crucial role in shaping arts-related policies and engaging with decision-makers internationally.

Haejin, who is married to Mako, is an accomplished international attorney and the CEO of Embers International. She also serves as the President of the Kintsugi Academy, where her mission is to illuminate the darkest corners of existence and aid others in their journey of renewal and recovery.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:
Episode 13 - Mako Fujimura, “Silence and Beauty, Part 1”
Episode 14 - Mako Fujimura, “Silence and Beauty, Part 2”


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Thanks for listening!

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

My life's journey has been one that reflects, you know, what we call kin Sookie, and then we can introduce kisuki A little bit more later. But looking back, whenever there was a major season ahead of me, that's when I experienced a certain kind of trauma, from which God, by His grace, really restore me through making me into someone that is a better version of myself. So, through trauma, you know, I gained this deep understanding of compassion, and a deeper understanding of justice and self discovery. And through that journey, you know, I have become a lawyer and justice advocate. And through that journey, I realized that, you know, when ever there is a new season, I needed to become a different, like, I need to be made once again. And through that journey, I was able to see the people's lives that are also broken, and also see a hope and possibility of being made into new. So, you know, I started my, my legal career about 17 years ago, and I'm a litigator and business law practitioner, I have my own law firm. And even through that, training, I saw a lot of brokenness in the legal industry. So from then on, you know, I was able to start my own law firm, that has created a very redeemed law, firm culture, a very different kind of legal team that actually get to love their work.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Well, there are people going well, lawyers love their work in different cultures.

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

Yes, and, you know, I'm one of them, I love my work. And that's because we see our legal career as something that is of making that we have to be extremely creative, we have to be extremely compassionate. And I extremely, have a depth of understanding of, you know, what's going on with our clients and the world and so forth. So, through that, you know, I got to really serve a lot of my clients, but also, by being an entrepreneur, I got to have my own schedule, and which allowed me to start and this organization called embers International. And embers International is a anti trafficking anti slavery organization that protects, restores and empowers people who are victims of injustice. And right now we focus on the survivors of trafficking in India and also children who are at risk of trafficking in the slums in the red light district. And also their mothers for still oppressed from generational exploitation. And for them, what we have to imagine is that there are although you know suffering from just incredible violence right now that there is a hope for this Kintsugi beauty that their scars are going to be filled with gold and blood of Christ and the the sweat of the Gods people showing up at their door and in them make becoming someone who's more beautiful and valuable when the scars are not hidden but accentuated but those scars will become beautiful. So that's the story of restoration through this king Sookie journey which I you know understood before even I met Mako and after we we met I mean that idea and the work of Kazuki for restoration became even more clearer. But embers international uses the metaphor can Sookie because we have to be able to see the victims not as just the victims but as people who are on their journey of restoration.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

And I'll once again allow you guys to navigate who shares but I remember Mako hearing a talk from you that with the Kintsugi art form which I hope you unpack that the broken pottery was not seen as broken but as something that was in and of itself beautiful. So that metaphor for Numbers International is really profound. Because yes, there's damage done through trauma. But there's something fundamental in the soul that remains intact the image of God. So that's so powerful.

Mako Fujimura:

It is, Kentucky is Japanese, Joan Qin is cold and Ziggy means the men. And it flows out of this venerable tradition of tea, tea ceremony of Santa BQ in particular, who, in 16th century Japan, during a feudal war time, established this way path of peacemaking through the very heightened ritual of tea sovereignty to the very powerful and out of that aesthetic came out this notion that something that has been broken, something that is rusting away or worn, thin, more beautiful, because they are have gone through this journey. And, and so, when the tea ware inevitably breaks in earthquake prone Japan, the family or tea masters will often keep the fragments for several generations before they give it to Japan lacquer master in Japan lacquer is made from Ruchi which is from poison sumac, it's a notoriously difficult craft to learn. And this mastery leads into mending these broken pieces. But instead of you know, that's a super gluing it back together to make it look like nothing was ever damaged. Japan NACA master, instead men's, in a way that heightens the fractures and sprinkles gold or paints gold, pouring it into the fractures, and sometimes even going further to embellish and add on pieces. As if to say that the fragments which are beautiful in themselves, can be amplified into a new creation. And the Kintsugi teaware is more valuable than the original, recognizing that this Board was created twice. And it's such a beautiful metaphor. And I have a chapter in my new book 10 Faith theology homemaking that just came out this year on Kintsugi, and how theologically it is so powerful. And it's a perfect way to understand Jesus's post resurrection appearance. And this book is all about this theology that leads into new creation, as an artist reading the Bible as as book of making. And the post appears of Jesus post resurrection journey indicates that Jesus chose to be human, after all that he's gone through, could have appeared as anything, any teachers to be human, and not only chose to be human, but he chose to be a wound wounded human is Neo Marxist with him as he shows Thomas and that shows that even to God. This reality of what Japanese show the show can see shows is exactly the way new creation works. So that these two for me to consider and for us to consider if Jesus to Jesus, humanity, being human is so important that that's what the that's the emanation that he chose. But also that his wounds through his wounds, we are healed and through his wounds, this new creation flows out of them, our journey of you know, going through dark times and fragments in fragmentation ourselves being pulverized that that's just as important to God. We may not see it that way. It's going through trauma. You know, I have my share of darkness going through the 911 and cyclin trauma that It affected my life deeply. But those are ways that I can enter into healing and new creation. And that, you know, metaphor is very powerful. For me as I think about a marriage, I think about my aunt, think about my life.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, the Kintsugi bowl that we have. And I first discovered Ken sugi through you a couple of years back. It's, it's just beautiful to look at, and I can gaze upon it, like one might guide his gaze upon a more traditional religious icon or a cross. And I just want to say, for any listeners, if you've not seen Kintsugi, you can certainly Google it. But it can sound like the sentimental idea like, Well, isn't that nice, the broken pieces get filled in with gold. But it really is quite stunning. How I can always imagine the original piece like, Oh, that's nice. But to see the cracks filled in the texture, almost spider like veins and how it goes outward. It's just really remarkable. And I do consider it a kind of icon that that mediates the heart of God. Will you talk a little bit about how an either or both of you about how making Whether making an organization and bringing to life, the vision of restoring others, or Mako for you as an actual visual artist and painter how making contributed to healing trauma?

Mako Fujimura:

Yeah, art has a way of capturing honest, vulnerable reality of being human and true art. doesn't shy away from what is difficult or dark. And sometimes it can get caught up in that negative cycle or it may become on the capturing the darkness. And I have tried as an artist to understand my own art as a way to bring hope and light through darkness. And, and so even after 911, my exhibit coming up in New York at Highline nine gallery is called remembrance and there's a dash between re remembrance as we think about Kentucky. You know, thinking back on 911, thinking back on Columbine, High School massacre and thinking back on 311, tsunami and nuclear ongoing nuclear meltdown. That is something that we have to reconnect, remember. And my art as has always been part of that journey. Looking at something ground zero in a most honest way, but then creating something out of that through or beyond that. And so my exhibit my art, being being exhibited, is going to be an emblem of that journey. When I met Hajin, and when we began to journey together, and I realized and I walk into an office, and I'm astonished because the office, the staff, the team, has this incredible dynamic, beautiful, enjoy US presence. Her office does not look like a lawyer's office. But it is partly because she's now married to me, it is like a gallery. There's a lot of art and weld it. And you you know, you walk in and you hear laughter. You hear you know, people working hard, but but it is it is something that brings and on the was pictures of children in India, that they have dedicated themselves as a law office, to volunteer themselves to help those who need their help legal counsel and so forth. And, and to me that, you know, is a reality of how, you know, it's not just art, right, it's it's all of our endeavor. Is all of our, what we can do in terms of bringing light into the darkness. And so I'm so honored to learn more about that and to be part of embers international

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

embers international as an organization, of course, its mission is to restore people. So you know, that's really kind of obvious. That's what we do and what we tried to accomplish. But also at the same time, if any of nonprofit leaders are listening to this podcast, I want them to know that each one of you are a maker. Yeah. Because every day you're making this organization possible. You're making programs, you're making a systems and you're making a better team every single day you are a maker. And when we do that, what happens I realize is that we become more and more of a full, fully human that God intended us to be. And through that process, there is a restoration that happens to the makers, ourselves, because we become more of a full human, that reflects a god. And, you know, when I started this, I co founded embers international AI, in 2016. And then we really started all operation in 2018. Thinking about then, and thinking about today, and you know, I have been going through this journey of making through this organization, and and of disorganization, that I am a better version of myself today than then I have a more compassion and more knowledge and more understanding of the clients that we serve. Now. And then. And same thing with being a lawyer, too, you know, I tell my lawyers that you are a maker, and you make a case for your clients, that you make an argument and strategy to represent an advocate for on behalf of our client. And as we do that, we become not only a better lawyer, but also a better person, more restored person that can embrace trauma and, and be healed through it and help other people be healed. So I think, yes, making and restoration has this direct connection if we understand it, and not only understand but be aware of it every single day, that what we do has a deeper meaning. And our restoration can be even more powerful.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

That is powerful. And it goes back to something you said, Hey, Jen, at the beginning, where you said that as you were healing from trauma, you were being remade, and it was the being remade, that then gives you a vision and allows you to step into helping to remake others, and Mako in your previous writings, culture care and in silence. You talk about this word generativity, and I think we don't use that word a lot. And it's often misunderstood. But what you're both talking about, you don't have to be a world famous visual artist, or to take an art class to be a maker. We're all bringing that sense of there's something inside of us that we're generating in our wounding and our trauma wants to shut that down. It's like it wants to put a lid on it. So I love this connection between making not as something in and of itself, although that's valuable, but as a healing, restorative, really essential part of being human.

Mako Fujimura:

Yeah. And we think of making us making something new or making something that's innovative and never have existed before. But really what making yours on this side of eternity is always dealing with the fractures that has happened before and out of that trauma and fracture, we begin to see something new and great example of this is you look at all the art and literature that has come out directly out of the frontlines of wars. You have CS Lewis, you have you know, JRR Tolkien, you have JD Salinger, you have Hemingway, you have Shakespeare, you know, creating his theater gold theater outside of London because of the Black Plague, right and you have Frangelico painting during the height of black plague and ushering in basically the Renaissance. All these people were faced with enormous challenges and darkness of their own time. And and they chose to create in response to that. And so you know, I I think about time as a very significant moment in reality of faith, you know, faith not only facing the darkness, but acknowledging that it is through the fractured fragmentation and and fractures and difficulties that oftentimes something enduring will come out. And I talk about generativity, and that word has been always very important to me. My father was a renowned, pure scientist, researcher, Bell Labs. And he was born in Boston, because he was doing his work on generative grammar with Noam Chomsky. And so I grew up with that term. And there as you know that there are several definitions of this. But I always connected to Genesis, you know, I always say, generativity is creating Genesis moments, which means no matter what happened yesterday, or a month before, or 10 years ago, 20 years ago, this is a Genesis moment right now. And everyone has an opportunity to reframe their past and to create the future. And to me, as an artist, the best way to do that is to be present, fully present in the moment to be able to observe what is in front of me as a visual artist. But for any kind of making you you know, that Amber's International and Sherman associates lawyers have to pay attention to the person and organizations that are helping be present in that sentence. And so we are in the business of walking into very traumatized and fragmented realities. And we have the opportunity to stay present in that until we see beauty in the fragments.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Where Do either of you see a proliferation of beauty and making in the midst of the pandemic, and there's part of me that wants to say, you know, now that we're out of the pandemic, but we all know that, especially in the part of the country, you're in that we're not out of it. So it seems like things have been stagnated. And yet, I see pockets of light and hope and creativity.

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

I think one thing that I found is that there's a new appreciation for the frontline workers, right, during this pandemic, that they are, they have received that now the spotlight because we recognize which we didn't before, how important they are, you know, whether you are, you know, frontline or at the hospitals or making deliveries, to different homes. I mean, there's certain shifts that happened during the pandemic, that we're still kind of processing. But, you know, we see this world where now we have a common language that you know, Mako explains that can be they can I think translate into if we were to do it, right. And if we were to be patient, about this global pandemic, as we are still kind of going through it, that the beauty of having this common language globally, and having the common understanding of what trauma is and how we can come out of it all together. And to do that we actually need one another globally, right. I mean, this is virus. So just because we have the vaccine, and we're vaccinated doesn't mean that we are safe, we need everyone in the world to be protected. So I think the sense of oneness, the unity, that is for good, that we need to look after one another. And me protecting myself and just being selfish is really not going to help you with that purpose. So I think that's something that I have seen, what about your motto?

Mako Fujimura:

Malcolm Gladwell, very early on in a pandemic, notice several things that paradigm shifts that are happening in culture and he calls it the weak weak link society versus strong link society and he identify that all of a sudden, you know, before the pandemic, we were strongly in society, which means like the people on top make gets all the decisions and influence so strong winds basically because they dominate the conversation. And and you know, quickly the pandemic has turned us into weak links society, which which means there are many Any people essential workers, who we never paid attention to before Amazon delivers and, you know, nurses and teachers that that literally stood on the front lines as as the most important part of society moving forward. And, and he compares this to basketball versus soccer bask in the basketball, if you have one very, you know, incredible player, you can do, okay, you can still win the game, but in soccer, if you have one weak player, the other team can exploit that and, you know, kind of win to win games. And And so given that we have shifted into weak links society, and I think the reality now is to look at moving forward, even post pandemic so called, quote, unquote, the, you know, will that remain to be a possibility. And I, I think that is where generativity can come in, when we realize that there's not a single person on this earth today, that has not been directly impacted by COVID virus in some way. I mean, that's a remarkable statement to make, and one that we probably couldn't have named before, we then have a situation which all of us share, you know, my experience of being being a ground zero resident, and I live in New York City, you know, that's not everybody's experience, my trauma, what we went through as ground zero residents and raising my children there is relevant to that particular area, and can be, you know, applied. But today, it's as if everybody was in ground zero zone, they face that same trauma, same issues of, you know, what happens after we post trauma issues. And, and we did so. So I call that this shared curse, that it can be a common grace kind of experience where, because we can identify with each other, you know, somebody in Assam, India, is facing the same kind of trauma that I am going through the same kind of fear or same kind of anxiety, even worse, in you know, because they're more exposed to the vulnerabilities. But, you know, we can be aware of that. And, as Amber's International has done, they raised $30,000, to create an oxygen tank plant in Assam, India. And, to me, that was just the most beautiful sign of generativity because this oxygen tank plant in a rural hospital will mean that this area, which is often cited as kind of a next nexus of human trafficking, lawyers associated with embers like IJM, international justice missions and others, it can have a nice create a safe space for these immigrant workers to find safety. And so my, you know, issues, you know, that I have to deal with in Princeton, New Jersey, is directly connected with that person who is you know, Journey perhaps on China into India, I don't know but you know, and and, you know, and you can actually buy the tea, Assam tea, which is known for its remarkable flavor, you know, English tea developed in that region. And so, while we drink this tea, we can be thinking directly about the impact of various decisions that we can make today to, to help that person who is picking tea in Assam.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

Yeah, that is so beautiful. Hadrian. Will you talk about the website and how people can learn more about embers International?

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

Sure, thank you for that question. If you go to embers international.org, it's an E M B E R s, you'll be able to see you know what our organization is all about our programs and how you can support the work and participate and mercy international As his ultimate goal is to prevent trafficking and prevention work is really hard. And and it's rarely emphasized because it's so hard to showcase the measurable outcome. Because how do you how do you showcase something that didn't happen? Right? However, the work that would do the protection, restoration and empowerment and the specific program that we have that targets the two generations living in the red like area right now is going to ultimately lead to that prevention. So, right now, our team in India is located in Torbay Red Light District in Mumbai, India. And we have this beautiful Children's Center called Sahar see embers. So has the Hindi means courageous. So we have a courageous little flames that are receiving services. And also we have courageous little flames are serving our children and the woman there. So we have this very important community hub. And that offers daycare to the children who are born into brothels. And living in the Red Lake area. We provide educational center and counseling, Legal Aid cleaning, which is the only free legal service for the entire Dubai red light area. And then we collaborate with the Indian government and vocational training. The people that we serve through the Sahara, the Emperor center is just really remarkable, resilient people, but they have suffered through generational exploitation. So if you can imagine a woman who are trafficked into the brothel, and trapped in that slavery, you know, I've gone into the brothels as an undercover. So I've seen the condition of these places where the women are being abused every day. If you are a minor, then you are talking to the to the back in a locked door with no windows for years until you are major or you look like a major in your will is broken because of the daily beating and exploitation, so that you don't run away, because you're just so broken. And then finally you will let out and you look like you are there voluntarily, but they're really not. And now, they the condition that they live in is terrible, it's filthy. But inevitably, inevitably, what happens is that they get pregnant, and they give birth to a child. And if you can imagine where this child will grow up, this child doesn't have her her own bed, or her own room or playroom, or, or any sanitary place that they actually can be placed. So where she grows up, if you can imagine with me, is under the mother's bed. And this is very bad, and my mother gets abused every night. And there's a little child will experience everything that mother experience under the bed. And if you can also imagine this little infant of child under the mother's bed, at night, this child will cry, because is the child is longing for the mother hungry wakes up at night, you know, all of you, parents outside get out there can empathize with you know what will happen to this child and night. So this child will be forced fed alcohol and drug as an infant so that she will keep quiet and night and not disturb the business into brothels. So that's the life of these children that we serve. And in certain age, they'll become either sex slave or traffickers or pimps if you're a boy, and that's the kind of destiny that is predetermined for them. And unless there's an intervention that empowers the child, as well as the mother, there's no hope for them to be that rare like area. So we have this two generation approach where we are now sending the children who are born into brothels to private school, so they can get the best education they can get. They can learn what human dignity and respect and love and care is through our team as the embers at that center. And now we're planning on empowering their mothers. This is going to be a long journey. And this as you can imagine, kind of work is is very difficult. It's very complicated. You know, we deal with our own traumas. You know, I remember You know, I mean dealing with my own traumas. And I thought that was complicated. But the trauma that that our clients go through is just a lot deeper and more complicated, especially because some of them and most of them, a lot of them have experienced this for generationally. So can we can we step in and stop this intergenerational evil, so that these children have a hope for the future? So, you know, that's the message that embers is giving to the world that yes, there's still hope, because we understand the Kintsugi life that we have. And we know that these children can also experience that can Sookie life,

Mako Fujimura:

you just had a person come out of that, and become a lawyer?

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

Yeah, so one of our so we also have a legacy education program, which is educating the survivor of trafficking, as well as at risk youth, for higher education. So we have a survivor that was rescued by our partner organization in India. And we were able to help this survivor with a higher education, she wanted to study law. And so she just completed the law school and became a lawyer.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

That, that is incredible. In the midst of in the midst of a horrifying and dehumanizing existence. You know, when we, when we hear about Jesus going after the one and leaving behind the 99, we often we often think of that almost exclusively in terms of evangelism and you know, go to heaven instead of hell. But Jesus goes after the one, to take them out of that horror, whether they become a believer or not, there's light there in that darkness. And I love how you talk about the Consu key life, because everybody can relate to that, and automatically understands that is there is there anything being done with embers International, with the prevention side, I've done a lot of work and speaking around the demand side. And that seems like such a deep, deep cultural issue, that seems like it's a rock so big, you can't move it.

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

So education is a key they are making the public aware of the problem. And also, you know, making sure that you know, we don't do rescue work, but our partner organizations do, and making sure that the public understands that there is no impunity for this type of crime is also very important. But also what's really important is empowering the community. So we have our SOS embers team will go out to the community introvert like area, every single day to do community outreach. And what they do is they look for people who are in need. So just recently, we found two children, ages six and eight, both girls and their dying mother on the street, because they were basically abandoned by their family. So they're on the street, just about a couple of months ago, during the pandemic, and Mother was really sick. So I was on the same team was able to bring them to SAS and birth center, and take care of the children and then send the mother to the hospital. Four days later, the mother passed away from TB. Now these two children are orphaned. But for our teams, community outreach, and being in the community, and being the eyes of the community, for these children, these children would have been just trafficked and sold into the brothels. And in a we are very unsure of it, because that happens all the time. So the prevention work has to happen not only through education and the rescue work in the legal avenues, but also by empowering the community, to be the watchdog for other people to be there to embrace these kinds of children from the street. And we were able to place them in a government shelter afterwards so that they can have a long term home. The traffickers, these criminals, what they do is they prey on the PHONER ability of the people and they are not by nature, courageous people at all. So when communities come together, and and when we look at these children who are the least regarded in the society or born into the brothel, when we come together and be their protector, their family, their advocates, the criminals cannot really touch them. They don't have the courage to do it. But we need to empower the community to do so in the local areas.

MICHAEL CUSICK:

So I'm hearing a theme between even what you did with your law firm, where you were very intentional about creating a certain kind of culture, to how your organization is going in, and going deep into the culture trying to affect it at a systemic level, as opposed to just going there and giving some handouts or doing some kind of dramatic intervention and then leaving. And that's, that's really neat. So, as I hear both of you talk about consew gi, it's just such a kingdom of God reality, the Malcolm Gladwell idea of the weak links, that it's the weak links of those trafficking victims in India, that they're, they're allowing the light to shine through, and people are showing up and making in that place. And isn't that the truth that the kingdom of God shines most, most intensely in the darkness, but we have to show up, and we have to risk and to make, isn't it true that, that there really is a risk and making I mean, whether you're painting a canvas or starting an organization, or trying to have a baby?

Mako Fujimura:

Yes. And that that's one thing that I treasure about. Joining together, is that years and years of my discipline on making, which is risk taking, and, and being entrepreneurial and creating something that didn't exist before, right, and, and every time I face, Canvas, I am invoking new creation, right, this is a Genesis moment, I am trained to trust my intuition, to, to carry me into the unknown. And so the mystery of creativity and making has, has a powerful way of inviting the world into, into hope. And because without hope you can't create right without hope of, you know, me painting something, and if somebody is going to see that, you know, like, why why painted, right. Or you can also paint in a way that is strictly for the audience of one, you know, for God, for you to offer that to God. And even that requires hope and faith, right. So, now, that mechanism, that intuitive mechanism that I've built up over the years, apply to what's happening in India apply to embers apply to creating imagination, sanctified imagination, to work toward restoration and healing, right. Rather than CO opting it, let's say, for selfish purposes, that, you know, because of what I do, as an artist, and I am invoking the new through my work, that space, gallery space, the studio space here becomes an ideal way to communicate what is happening to the least of these to the weak links, and, and to raise them up to become the powerful influences that we believe that they can become, and they already are. That, you know, that makes me realize that again, going back to Kintsugi, this idea of a continue master be holding the fragments, and not even trying to fix it, right, they're just just looking at it and looking at it until the fragments become beautiful and complete in itself. And then the work begins to create something new out of that experience, but the continue master doesn't start until he or she can see the landscape in the fragments he or she can see the river, a golden river. And that that to me is a way that we can move into hopefully post pandemic time and keep the value of Winkley weak links society that we can be the you know, connect the meme, dismembered, fragmented way in that art culture certainly has experienced but by going forward with trauma with with the you know, the this this deep rift that we experience in the world, those are ways that imagination can create into the new and and so the you know when I hear stories of children being rescued and and names of these ticular children who go suicide see embers and be you know, it's becoming nurses and lawyers and, and you know, I just see that story as so much more beautiful than anything that I can create. And and yeah, I'm privileged that my work can can connect with that and be part of that journey for them for me for us but but but also as as we share that with the world. You know, this is something that everybody can participate in,

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

is my husband still wonderful and beautiful and I can listen to him all day long

MICHAEL CUSICK:

to I've always Mako Your voice has always been so soothing. And from a trauma perspective and you know, I just spent four hours today doing an intensive with people with trauma, there's something that's just so grounding and your your your words are beautiful, just like your paintings. But what strikes me and what you said is that nothing would exist today. Without imagination, and hatred without somebody you and your colleagues saying, Okay, here's this horror in Mumbai. But let's imagine what could be done. And then to think about just like, Miko, you're generating beauty in paintings that you're through your organization agent generating this healing, and then to hear the stories of others who would otherwise just go by the wayside. They're becoming generative. And I think about that baby under the mother's bed all night, that as that child grows, they have no capacity for imagination, unless someone else imagines for them a different life. And so it's really impossible to heal from trauma without saying, things could be different. There is another another way, another reality in which to live. So finally, I heard you talk about resurrecting the consew gi Academy, I want to have you share with people how they can learn more about that. And then I've got to come back to tea. Because at the culture care conference, you allowed myself to go to a high tea ceremony with Kiko. And so what's the tea? Can people buy that at the embassy international site? Or can they sign up for it,

Mako Fujimura:

they will start creating it with you know, with people there, but Kentucky academies we're launching, and we're so excited to have the Kentucky master from Japan Come on 911 in New York City, to relaunch this effort to bring this conversational heating and practice of heating that anybody can do, anybody can run to do, but we need certified trainers. So we're going to be certifying these people that we selected and joining with them and along with them is Franco Tom Thompson, Dr. Thompson, who is a psychiatrist, and he will talk about healing and trauma chambray for choose national book award winning poet and writer who is also a professor of forgiveness at Gonzaga University, and and several others will join us and create resources for for these and I, I could not have done this exhibit without president's help. And actually her entire team has been mighty. And they're organizing, you know, exhibit these, these gatherings. You know, unlimited as they may be today, we're going to be creating resources so that others can take advantage of it. In remote sessions.

Haejin Shim Fujimura:

Our website is being created right now. So it's not available just yet. But it's going to be www cultural care creative.com. And you will find more resources on that about Kintsugi Academy and ultimately with the certified instructors that we're going to train. We want to be able to raise up what we call Kintsugi peacemakers. And these are the people that are going to come with us to conflict zones and present Kintsugi to places like Palestine, Israel, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, UK, Ireland, to show that yes, peacemaking is possible. Restoration is possible. Forgiveness Is Possible healing and restoration is possible in these deeply, deeply rooted trauma areas. Just to follow with follow Marcos talk about the risk taking and the hope that we have. I think ultimately, risk taking can lead to restoration or making Oh, If it's motivated by love, so when you take a risk, you take a risk because it's really worth it and when we find it, but then the the only reason why I think we find it's worth taking the risk is because we have a little bit of love towards it. You know, I took a risk of starting my own law firm, because I love practicing law, or you know, it's very broken in a law is imperfect. And it was far from it far from perfection. But I love law. And because I know, God is the lawgiver, and the true meaning of law, when it was given to us from the very beginning of this world. I, you know, I created cocreate embers International, because I love these clients who are awaiting restoration. And so I think I think all of that is to say that you know, what we do through Kensuke Academy and Mark was making and my work as a lawyer and nonprofit leader is that it's really motivated by love. And I think King Sookie represents that love because without love for this broken vessel, we wouldn't actually make it into mandating to new.

Mako Fujimura:

Yeah, and as Vincent van Gogh said, the greatest work of art is to love people.