Throughout the year, I have seen this painting several times at various school functions, art shows, etc.
And each time I saw it, I just stared at it in amazement... I loved the colors and looseness and finally asked about it in March.
Turns out that one of my favorite 3rd year students had painted it! I told my teacher to tell Nozomi that I loved the painting and would be interested in buying it to bring back to NY with me. Well, graduation came and went, and my teacher got married- and both of them left Miyazu for the big city of Kyoto.
A few weeks ago, I went down to Kyoto and had lunch with that one teacher to catch up. To my surprise, she brought the painting! Apparently she had told Nozomi that I really loved it and wanted to buy it, but she refused to sell it, repeating that she wasn't good enough to sell her work yet! Her payment was that I picked hers out of all the other students' work!!!
I am constantly amazed by Japanese generosity and humbleness.