If you’ve been to the Dojo lately, you’ve probably seen the mural that’s going up beside our building. This mural is being created to commemorate the significant role that Olympia’s Chinese community played in creating our diverse and wonderful city. The artist, Mymy Nguyen, describes the dragon as a “silhouette” representing “a ghost of the past strength, intention and motion of Chinese immigrants who left their homes, crossed the widest ocean, and came to this place for a better life.” The location for this mural is significant because the building was, at one time, a local Chinese grocery that was a center for the community. For additional history, here is a link: http://olympiawa.gov/community/about-olympia/history-of-olympia-washington/olympia-s-chinese-community.aspx
Although Aikido comes from a Japanese lineage that’s different from the Chinese experience, we share a connection to the broader Asian and Pacific Island community. We value our community and, as an organization, are supporting the mural and what it means to our community. Additionally, we believe that our commitment to the art of peace and living in harmony with the energy of the universe aligns nicely with this artistic work. Of note, the characters incorporated into the mural read, “peace, harmony, community.”
The mural’s dedication is scheduled for 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at the corner of 5th Avenue SW and Columbia Street SE in downtown Olympia. This event will provide a space for the Chinese tradition of “dotting the eye,” or the final brush strokes of painting the eye to bring the dragon to life and to complete the mural.
By Nate Weed