Catholic Gent interviews artist Daniel Mitsui

[Mitsui:] The Catholic tradition of religious art has a real and permanent content, just like the liturgical tradition and the theological tradition. While artistic tradition perhaps does not have so exalted a place in our religion as these, it corroborates them and operates with the same principles. Like these, it cannot be altogether remade or replaced without ruinous effect. Modern Catholics often have a confused notion of tradition, thinking of it in terms of what changes rather than what endures.
The dream of St. Joseph
By blood, I am half Japanese; however, my cultural connection to Japan is not strong. My Japanese ancestors came to the United States about a century ago. My paternal grandparents and their siblings were all born in America; my father and his siblings never learned to speak Japanese.

My interest in Japanese art did not come through my family, but through my patrons. I received a commission from a priest whose religious order had done missionary work in Japan; he asked me to draw Saint Michael in the style of an ukiyo-e woodblock print. I had never done anything like this, had never thought to do anything like this. But I accepted the commission and I liked the result; so did my other patrons, who requested more and more of these transpositions of medieval iconography into the style of Japanese art.
check out the full interview at The Catholic Gentleman

Probably my favorite Mitsui is The Tree of Life and Death.

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