History has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous important figures who have been lost to the pages of time. Certain individuals have managed to make a mark on our collective imagination, while others have remained only in the thoughts of those deeply affected by the person’s actions. Emperor Kotuku is one such person whose reign during the 7th century is only remembered by those deeply vested in the history of Japan. In order to commemorate the contributions of the gentle emperor, Virtosu has created this somber and moving piece.
Emperor Kotuku is remembered for dismantling pre-existing establishments that favored the wealthy landowners of the era and for introducing Buddhism in the region. The kind and gentle spirit of this ruler have been captured by Virtosu in this piece using a fluid, ethereal, water-like form. While the background is sluggish and dark, much like our memories of instances too far back in time, the central entity shines brightly amidst this cosmic noise. The Emperor is depicted in a meditative pose, signifying the calm and soothing nature of his inner spirit, and also denoting the ideals of the religion he helped introduce in the country.
While many artists derive their fame off the backs of known personalities, Virtosu offers his audience a history lesson by taking us back to some lesser known chapters of our past. Emperor Kotuku is now alive and well in our mutual minds thanks to this timely piece.