Nancho Konomi | Nancho Style

Casting First Light on the Hidden Genii and Virtuosos in Asia

Music Word Gallery Index

ABOUT KONOMI: All great Japanese courts, iemoto (cultural highpriest-CEOs) and other pretentious aristocrats regularly had their subjective tastes or konomi proclaimed, and generated into waves of fashion. For example, Lord Whosis is offered 10 fresh young chawan by 10 supplicant craftsmen who lovingly sired them. He fancies a pink and lushly textured one and slowly fondles the curves, exclaiming, "Wow, do I LIKE (= konomu - sounds like 'oh oh wooooo...') THIS!" Next, His delicate fude wobbles aloft to personalize the rich brocade-trussed box and a few tremulant moments later the Lord has sown a new konomi (which will take His name and shall ever after be known and valued more for this fat cat's favor than for the nameless creator's art ).

<< For meme adepts: This whole process may be expressed in arcane Japanese as "kyoka denshi miuri" (kanji reading) or memetic child-buying . Many struggling crafts people (and a few simply swinish ones) were induced to sell their memetic offspring as well as their biological children into other homes, names or commercial prostitution. It sounds pathetic but it worked out pretty well for everyone.

First off, it gave the rulers a rep. After the master class (kingly or corporate) lost its creative potency, it simply bought up new founts of seminal influence, pumped out an ersatz legacy, and gained a hot reputation for cultural virility. Besides enjoying prosthetic posterity, these artistically impotent but financially well-hung boys relished the kick of cultural authority and, often unencumbered by any taste whatever, zapped around the countryside "authorizing" the vast mediocre bulk of literature, art, and architecture.

The craftspeople, meanwhile, were seduced, well tipped and abandoned. But like resiliant surrogate mothers, they found some consolation knowing their progeny had fallen in among good manicures and that they themselves were pretty goddam rich!

And the people - well, since we rarely have the balls to depose, outwit or even ignore our ubiquitous fahion leaders - we the people generally get the anemic culture we deserve, don't we...?>>

At any rate, since We are currently herald of the virtual Court of Nancho,
(and see no good reason to abandon this wretched tradition
before We have ample chance to abuse it ourselves),

proclaim the dawning

a brilliant extension of Nancho konomi
highlighting an irregular rogues gallery
of hitherto shadowed genii and virtuosos
right out where you can actually see them.

Our first bouquet of New Year recognitions

In Baroque Bonsai Whimsy :

Tim Satomi

In Luminous Lithography :

Madhu Kant Mundra

In Mantic Artesian Music :

Members of Coven I for
Tsuyu Typhoon

In Mountain Atman Photography :

Kajiyama Tadashi

In Post-Pathetic Poetry :

Robert Brady

In the Sumi-e Brush Run Wild :

Michael Hofmann

Warning! Over the last 20 years, we have tripped over enough shadowed heroes to absorb 1STLIGHT until Genno 12 at least. Therefore, DO NOT SUBMIT any new works or candidates for this hallowed accolade (unless of course accompanied by the traditional certificates of commendation - preferably in large, crisp denominations) until March, 2001 at the earliest.

* Chawan just means "tea bowl", but you get the drift.

** Memes here refer to cultural offspring -- the creations of the mind and heart -- as opposed to the genetic/biological creations of the loins. See more at Memetics.