10,000 participants have placed 1.5 million grains of sand while wishing for the happiness of 1.5 million people!
This hands-on workshop provides both kids and adults with a fun and easy opportunity to experience the technique and concept of the Maris Method. Participants work together to create a Maris picture of the flag of a country other than theirs. As they form the picture, they are encouraged to wish for the happiness of the people of that country. Launched in 2012, the Maris 196+1 project aims to complete all 193 national flags of the world, plus the Refugee Nation flag created for the contingent of refugees who competed in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. To date, some 138 flag pictures have been created at 41 workshops held in Japan and abroad.
This project, part of the larger Maris Art Project, hosts workshops for collaborative creation of Maris paintings of all the world’s national flags. 


Participants paint the flag of a country other than their own. Each grain of sand represents one person in that country. As participants place a grain on the canvas, they wish for the happiness of that person. By engaging people in a hands-on activity that encourages them to hope for the happiness of others, this project seeks to foster international mindedness and compassion.

This project was launched on the day of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics in August 2012.