The Young’s Road to Gabriola Island

Pages Marina & Bookstore

Press Release

Monday, February 25 2013

The road to Gabriola Island winds through West Africa, the United States, Germany, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Japan for David and Michiko Young. 

 They have introduced a new publishing venture, Coastal Tides Press, by producing two books of their own: Spontaneity in Japanese Art and Culture and The Mouse Woman of Gabriola: Brain, mind and icon interactions in spontaneous healing

David says, “One day I came across a book on Japanese art and culture that included a black ink painting, Winter Landscape, by the great Zen artist, Sesshu. The painting provided me with a glimpse into the very essence and structure of the universe, resulting in what the Japanese call a satori experience. I decided then and there that I would have to visit Japan to see what kind of culture could produce such a work of art.

“I met Michiko Kimura, a senior in college, at an English speaking retreat and we were married a few months later.

“Michiko stayed behind to finish college while I went to the East West Center at the University of Hawaii to begin a master’s degree in Asian Studies. After Michiko joined me, we began research on Japanese aesthetics. The thing that puzzled us most was the great difference between the quiet, austere aesthetics associated with art forms such as the tea ceremony and the gaudy lights and noise of the recreational areas of Japanese cities. It took us some time to realize that rather than being competing traditions, the Restrained and Exuberant traditions are actually two ends of a continuum upon which Japanese move back and forth in the course of their everyday lives –in accordance with rules that depend upon the circumstances.”

This, as well as many other insights and numerous photographs, are included in their book, Spontaneity in Japanese Art and Culture –the result of 50 years of research on Japanese aesthetics.

After receiving his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University, David took a position teaching anthropology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to his interest in Japanese culture, David specialized in health and healing, as well as the traditional knowledge of Canada’s first nations peoples. This included research with Aboriginal healers, resulting in books such as Cry of the Eagle: Encounters with a Cree Healer and Being Changed by Cross-Cultural Encounters: the anthropology of extraordinary experience.

After retiring from the University of Alberta, David and Michiko ended up on the island of Gabriola. Near their house is a petroglyph of what appears to be a female mouse carved on an upright boulder with one arm outstretched, welcoming people to a sacred site containing other petroglyphs and burial caves. The Mouse Woman is an important “grandmother” spirit for coastal peoples. Her role is to protect young people and to rectify injustices that have been done to them. She also has healing properties. David and Michiko have observed several people with problems such as rheumatoid arthritis who have leaned against the rock to receive a burst of energy that cures or alleviates their problems. The Mouse Woman of Gabriola: Brain, mind and icon interactions in spontaneous healing is an exploration of possible explanations of spontaneous healing, with an emphasis upon the role of religious symbols, mind-body interactions, and the placebo effect in healing.

On March 2 at 3:00 p.m., there will be a book launch for these two books at the Commons on Gabriola. David and Michiko will be there to sign books and talk about their publishing venture, Coastal Tides Press that will specialize in books on Japanese culture, health and healing, and the traditional knowledge of the First Nations. Everyone is welcome! For those unable to attend the books are available through Page’s Resort & Marina Bookstore, 3350 Coast Road, Gabriola, open seven days a week 8:30am to 6pm.  For more information phone 250-247-8931.