12 Days Two: Handa-Sensei’s Return to the Earth

Let’s talk about Barakamon. I started it this year, though I haven’t quite finished it yet. As a guy who does amateur calligraphy and once studied Japanese, I’m all over a show like Barakamon. Wikipedia reminded me, just now, that the title itself refers to “an easy going guy,” which Handa-Sensei certainly is not. As our client, what can we tell him about himself?

The cards:




This deck is really new, so I can’t get nice, clean scans online for you. You’ll have to deal with my phone pics, I’m afraid. Those are my pajamas along the bottom edge.

This deck is called The English Magic Tarot. It’s deeply invested in English magical traditions, which means it incorporates “low” and “high” magics and also sometimes features Roundheads and Cavaliers on its cards. It’s fun times. What did Handa-Sensei get when he walked into our reading room?

4 of Coins

A generosity on the level of earthly things. Perhaps Sensei doesn’t care about earthly things, or perhaps he tends toward his earthly impulses too frequently. Maybe he only realizes in retrospect what he’s given away and what he’s lost. Sort of like if you gave into the impulse to punch an old man.

Page of Coins

Pages or typically women, and so we would presume it’s Naru. An earthy female figure, quick to move from place to place and topic to topic, who easily deals with fields and mountains but doesn’t understand how to read certain words? Next to the Four from earlier, we’d assume she is picking up what Sensei is dropping.

Ace of Wands

As you might remember from last time, Wands are all about creativity and personal Will. The Ace is the beginning. So, central to Sensei’s life narrative is the beginning of a true creative endeavor that seeks a personal stamp on things. That… sounds about right.

King of Cups

Cups hold water, or possibly more volatile liquid. The King holds his emotions — the thing water traditionally represents — in check. Look at that throne. It has a huge cup in behind it. What would happen if all the booze in that spilled out all at once? Sensei himself has wild emotions, and he’s learning to keep them in check, to channel them into his creative self (notice that this card is flanked by Wands, one on either side).

4 of Wands

Fours all all Jupiterian, and Wands are creative. Jupiter loves getting together with others. In the realm of the creative Will, we all seek a kind of unity, a combination of self and other. Handa-Sensei didn’t have that; he focused on the practical, earthy elements, and left bits and pieces lying around behind him. As an even more earthy figure followed behind his “bread crumb” trail, he realized he was beginning a journey that wasn’t practical, but inward, toward the creative potential that burned inside him.

So, naturally, Handa-Sensei needs to allow his grounded self to move freely, like Naru — he needs to leave his bookishness behind (note the scrolls tumbling down in the first card). He’s ready, he needs to jump into the fire; he needs to let his own personal Will drive his actions, and assume the foundation is there to catch him. The result of such a risk will be a melding of creative minds, a captivating show of artistry.


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