Mimiko – Girl with mirrors by Onchi Koshiro

Girl with mirrors by Onchi Koshiro (Via Museum of Fine Arts)

There was nothing behind her and yet she had to check. She always felt a presence following her steps, a shadow about to catch her from behind.

Uncomfortable and alert to any danger that could cross her path, Mimiko trusted no one. She walked along the busy streets of Osaka turning her head every other second, tripping on her kimono, running into exasperated passers-by. She missed out on the beauty of nature and the precious relationships with friends and family. Birds chirping, rain falling, and sun shining were never part of Mimiko’s daily routine. A terrifying feeling following her left nothing but paranoia and melancholy as her companions each day.

Laid on the floor, her back against a hard-wooden floor, concrete, or grass was her only relief. She controlled her destiny that way, nothing would hurt her if she knew nothing could surprise her from behind. Looking ahead was her only comfort, otherwise she had to turn around or twist her neck. As the anguish grew day after day, she decided to carry two mirrors with her at all times. At first, she only took them out in quiet streets, in the entrance of a building or in the restroom of a coffee shop. The rest of the time she would keep turning around.

People would laugh at her, watching her with her two mirrors and frightened eyes. Her survival was more important to her than people thought, but Mimiko was not oblivious their stares and giggles. She recognised family friends who would report back to her appalled and saddened parents. Ashamed, she decided to leave the house only to buy the food she needed that week. The clothes she wore began to deteriorate and the furniture she sat on to decay. The strength in her crumbled like everything around her.,. In the confinement of her home she was left tasting nothing but loneliness and despair. Paranoia and melancholy had left, but the reminder of her pathos had taken the form of two mirrors, which she placed behind her neck once in a while, just to check.

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