Catrien Ross

Artist & Mystic in Japan


A centuries-old kominka in the mountains. An immersion in Nature. A spiritual sanctuary. A nurturing source. A connection with the hidden universe that moves within each of us and which holds so much creative potential.

Japan Space is all of this, and more. The boundless multiplicity of the ten thousand things.

Here I write and publish and reveal my sudden genius paintings and music.

I take walks on the hill, bask in the love of my animals (only cats now, the dogs have one by one all died of old age), and sit by the huge, hand-built masonry heater that warms the first floor. I also appreciate the constant presence of wild animals such as deer, boar, the black bear that comes to steal the persimmons and mulberries, and the tanuki family that visits under the house.

When I experienced my startling sudden genius phenomenon in 2013, the third floor of this pre-Edo era minka affirmed my outpouring of acrylic on canvas creations. I installed a digital piano here, the first piano ever in my life, and the sudden music that flows out from my untrained and unrestrained fingers fills the house with a sense of wonder.

Restoring this old Japanese folk house has been an ongoing process of challenge and acceptance and a deep awareness that my task is endless. It truly is about the journey, and I long ago stopped minding that I will never arrive.

Since I also wear the hat of an antiques dealer in Japan, I use my kominka as a transition space for the Japanese antiques and Asian art which go to my showroom at the foot of Mount Fuji. The spacious center overlooking Lake Kawaguchi is where I now exhibit my sudden genius paintings and music and it also serves as an energetic space for my spiritual teaching and healing.

Integrated as all of a piece this is Japan Space for me: Life as multicultural, multifaceted and multidimensional and an ever-evolving story.