KJ 21 KEHAI
published October 22, 1992
Cover Image by Takeda Yoshifumi
KEHAI is subliminal. A sense, a vibe, an unspoken message, an invisible sign. An energy that passes between persons or flows in a situation, perceived yet only vaguely definable.
Kehai is sensorial. A harbinger of the future, a trace of the past, a hint of the present. A breeze, a footstep, a whiff, an imprint, a stirring.
Kehai is a sign, as in ‘a sign of spring’ or ‘no sign of the train.’ Kehai is an atmosphere or a mysterious, ineffable mood — at a shrine, in a room, under the moonlight. Literally, the characters for kehai mean ‘ki distribution,’ the flow of vital energy. The same characters make the phrase ‘ki o kubaru,’ meaning to purposefully project the body’s subtle energy, especially in a performance or a ritual.
In the broadest sense, kehai is everything which lies between the per-ceiver and the perceived, the field for our awareness of the external world. The Japanese have a word for it, a word in common usage, a word with several meanings and a dimension of awe, a word for the magical fringe of experience. Kehai. —Takeda Yoshifumi