The Friendship Story

Friendship Kanji (bronze)

Art delights and inspires the human spirit

Judy Kaplan was commissioned to create a sculpture about friendship for John Hay Elementary School in Seattle to honor the memory of Siri Mayo, a third-grader who died of cancer. The result: Friendship Kanji, a sculpture of one character of the Japanese writing system based on Chinese ideograms.

When interacting with Friendship Kanji, children and adults have seen a variety of images: a dog, a dragon, a flying slipper, a running rabbit, and people dancing — all in this one 5-foot-tall sculpture. The experience is joyful and the “language” universal.


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