Art, Beauty, Books/Wide Reading, Childlight USA Conference
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Be Generative: Makoto Fujimura by Bonnie Buckingham

Makoto Fujimura – 2012 Keynote speaker!

Charlotte Mason Educational Conference

June 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2012

Makoto Fujimura

Last March, I sat in the auditorium in Tribeca at the International Arts Movement 20th Anniversary Conference to hear Makoto Fujimura. Here was a contemporary artist selected by Crossway to illuminate the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible.  I was a teacher amongst artists, musicians, actors, and writers. At that conference my mind awoke to living ideas.   For example, Makoto talked about language that rehumanizes us. This expression was first seen by Makoto in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and he connected it to cultural renewal.  Jane Eyre says:

“It is time someone undertook to rehumanize you,” to Mr. Rochester parting his “thick and long-uncut locks” (Jane Eyre, chapter 37).

“We, today, have a language to celebrate waywardness, but we do not have a cultural language to bring people back home.  Our lives have become fragmented with overconsumption in every level of life,” Mako told us, “What we do matters.” What you do as educators, parents, artists, and writers matters.  It is not a commodity. Your teaching is not just a job.   This is a battle against a pragmatic world.  Be Generative.  “Be willing to make your life count. And never forget the beauty of the river of your calling.”

Here is the exciting news:  Makoto Fujimura will speak on Thursday evening, June 7, 2012 at the ChildlightUSA Charlotte Mason Educational Conference.

The Tears of Christ, Artist: Makoto Fujimura

An artist I know says you don’t stand in front of a painting, you come under it. This is Picture Study. Do this with Makoto’s paintings and gaze at them. Go see them. My high school students did this recently with The Four Holy Gospel paintings although just in print.  My daughter had gazed at them in September and described the process of Nihonga, layering of mineral such as gold, sazurite, malachite and cinnabar mixed with animal hide glue applied to handmade paper. The paintings glitter with rich color and we gathered terms of beauty to describe them.  Emma’s voice creates a passion for Beauty as she describes the process.  Read Makoto’s writings in Refractions.  Listen online to his lectures.  Narrate.  Relate the ideas to your life.  My students answered an exam question: “Tell me about the Five Hundred Year Question.” (Refractions, p.19). Teach your students who this living artist- writer- speaker is. Think upon the living ideas; ideas rooted in the Gospel.   Makoto gives the full, glorious adorned Truth in word and deed.  This Christmas, Makoto is bringing “The Four Holy Gospel” exhibit to Tokoyo along with a college choir on a tour of northern Japan which was devastated by the Tsunami. (IAM’s Generative: Japan) Be Generative  this Christmas.  See you in June!




International Arts Movement:

Generative Japan:


Carroll Smith has spoken on various topics related to Charlotte Mason. Currently he teaches at Gardner-Webb University and enjoys working with children, teachers, college students, and Charlotte Mason Institute. He was a teacher and a principal for 21 years before coming to Gardner-Webb University where he has been for six years. Having grown up in eastern North Carolina, he attended East Carolina University for his undergraduate degree and his master's in school administration. He completed his terminal degree and wrote his dissertation on Charlotte Mason at Virginia Tech. Carroll enjoys reading, gardening, and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra, and their two young adult college-age children, Corban and Anna, enjoy living, working and playing in North Carolina.


  1. amy in peru says

    oh wow. It’s decided. I’ll HAVE to be there!!!!!!
    yay! Bonnie! I’m so excited!!
    I have SO benefited from his book, and was SO inspired by your personal account at the CLUSA conference last year.


  2. BMcPeak says

    I traveled up to NY with my sons to see Makoto’s work a few years ago. It is an experience to relate to abstract art….and in this case ~ one I recommend. His essays in Refractions speak light and life.

  3. Jeannette says

    Bonnie, such a beautiful written piece about ideas that deserve to be grappled with and understood. Huzzah for the big announcement, what a treat it will be to have Mako with us next conference. We will all be richer for it. Truly he is a prophet with a soul feeding message. Lord willing, I will be there – Thank you for dreaming big!

  4. Glory Paulson says

    Jane Eyre. Intentional living. Art painting. Rehumanizing. The Bible. What we do matters.

    I love these connections …

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