Kelly, really sorry to hear about your sad day. Hope you're feeling happier. The past is not our fault - or even the present - although it seems like it sometimes.This picture really speaks to me of hari-kari (the heart I carry?) - I don't know if this is because of the mention of Japan and the style (which also reminds me personally of Lichtenstein's pop art). It seems ritualistic, like acting. It's like the figure is wearing a mask - the white make up and red beneath reminds me (again because of the description and statement of influence) of the geisha?The figure (ambiguously gendered) is stabbing itself or pulling out a blade in the lips? Or the heart it carries? Or is it simply someone eating? The face is blood streaked, it appears. Is the figure manacled or wearing a bracelet? I do think that either way, there is a theme of struggle and capture going on.The floating ear reminds me personally of Van Gogh.The accentuation of the line underneath the nose cuts out or is mirrored by the top of the heart/lips - the curve of this on the right is also replicated in the movement of the hair and the bracelet. This gives the photograph all of its decentring or motion as - a sickening slide downwards (the geometric precision of the knife is being contested by a spiral - the meeting point of which we never see (i.e. the curve never meets or is an asymptote))?The face of the figure is marred with scars or wrinkles, possibly. Blonde loses colour and becomes black. Perhaps we are seeing a memento mori?The eyes are really quite astonishing though. They're the first thing one sees and the colour makes them prominent. They're ever-green and glow with intensity. They look upwards, away from us, at something we will never see. It seems that we're seeing retaliation? survival? exclusion? There is something transitional in the look - the pupils are not dilated or contracting, but in the middle - it gives to me an air of suspense.
Geisha, survival, heart in the mouth. My first vision was to have a woman licking the knife after she had stabbed her heart. Unable to figure out how to convey this in one panel, I drew her heart in front of her mouth. Yes, exclusion first and retaliation on the self as in "I do this to myself".