The Act of Seeking Guidance Comes with Open Heart and Humility.

Are you good at asking for advice?
Me? Nooo. I am not good at asking for anything: whether that’s a piece of advice or information or a little helping hand. I always thought being self-sufficient was a good thing.

However, I’m also at this stage in my life that maybe there is only that much I can do when trying to do all by myself, and that my friends are actually happy when I ask for help or advice (just as I would…!) To me, being asked for advice is a sign of trust, that I’m considered as having a worthy opinion. I’d do the same. I’d go for my trusted friends for their precious advice.

Rikizo Munehiro took this notion further and embodied it radically and wholeheartedly. “Ask anybody for anything. Everyone has some excellent quality, something we can learn from. I’d like to extract and share it so we all can grow.”

When he was pressed to the edge. By that, I mean having to grow an industry and enough crops to feed a community of two hundred households. He had no luxury of letting ego come in to say “I don’t want to get laughed at by asking stupid questions.”

Can I do that today? I ask myself. Can I be driven so much that I forget my ego?

It’s only natural that I share every piece of information or knowledge that I receive. I pursued my craft, not with the intention of becoming an individual artist, but from the desire to develop an industry for the community to survive and thrive. It’ll be nonsense to keep it all to myself.
Thinking back, I was already 33 when I started learning about the weaving after the war. I started from zero. There were simply too many things for this middle aged man to learn than to worry about other people copying his craft. I sought advice from anyone about anything.

Rikizo Munehiro

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