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Shared by friends and collaborators of Japan House London, 'Words & Thoughts' is a collection of words, characters or phrases in Japanese which are particularly poignant to them or for our time.

Tomoko Azumi is a product, furniture and space designer and the founder of design company TNA Design Studio. 

She chose:  ('an': to think of, be anxious of, draft, idea, plan, suggestion, proposition)

“The ‘hand-washing’ signs that are so familiar to Japanese people have become more familiar in the UK in the past month. Recently I have started to wonder, through washing my hands so much, am I losing an important ‘protective coating’, like a fellow comrade protecting me in the shadows? The ‘ideas’ that run round our heads everyday are influenced by the invisible being, turning our lives upside down, our focus continuously shifting back and forth between micro to macro. We now have anxious thoughts about when we can next meet our family and friends, asking how we can halt this intimate ‘threat’, wondering what the root of the problem is and questioning how society must change hereafter. I think it is time to make a proposal.”

日本人としては馴染みのある「手洗い」が図示され、イギリスでも知られるようになってからひと月が経ちました。でも、どうも手を洗いすぎて何か大事な「保護膜」的な、陰ながらわたしを守ってくれていた同志 のようなものを失っていないか?と思い始めた昨今。頭を駆け巡る 「案」は、日常をひっくり返した目に見えない存在に触発され、ミクロとマクロの間を行き来します。すぐに会えない家族や友人を案じつつ毎日を暮らし、身近にある「脅威」をどう食い止めるか思案しながらも、問題の根源にまで想像をおよばせ、今から社会がどう変わらなければいけないかを試案する時が来ていると思います。