Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Recently Masumi informed me that the city of Koryama was offering a calligraphy class for foreigners. Despite my utter lack of painting and drawing skills, I excitedly agreed to go to the class.

When I arrived I was the only foreigner. However, the room wasn't empty -- there were about a dozen or more Japanese volunteers. After a few minutes, I was joined by two Canadian girls. The class began and we were given our introductory lesson by an 85-year-old retired school teacher. The lesson was really informative despite the fact that it was only in Japanese!

(PICTURE: My calligraphy sensei.)

After a few minutes we were each given ink and paper to practice on. With each stroke that I made I felt like I was ruining thousands of years of the calligraphy art form. I was horrible. After a couple of pathetic looking characters, the sensei took my hand in his and helped me draw. Minus the initial awkwardness of holding hands with a near stranger, the teacher's guidance was really a huge help.

After a couple of more minutes my characters started to look half decent. In fact, I made one letter that got "ooohs" and "ahhhs". One of the volunteers who spoke some English told me that I had a, "Strong stroke." Yes, friends, this was the first time anybody has ever said that to me.

(PICTURE: Some of my work. The top character on each paper means "big." The bottom character means "small.")


mom said...

They would look nice framed in your sister's new apartment.

Benjamin said...

I already bought her a DVD player which she can watch all the Japanese movies from NetFlix that she wants.

Huyen said...

You looked really profesional on Calligraphy! I am proud of you!