Hello everyone 🙂
Here’s Saki, from Local travel Partners.
When talking about Japan, Kanji 漢字 would be inevitable ! The city, the shops, they are everywhere.
Most children in Japan would go to okeiko お稽古, which is like our after school activities. One of the most popular okeiko is shodô 書道. Shodô is literally the “way of writing”, it is more commonly known as calligraphy !
I have had the occasion to go to a calligraphy lesson recently in Shizuoka. The lessons are held at Shonoheya 書の部屋, by Mizue KOYAMA. She kindly welcomed me for a calligraphy experience and took great care to show me the way !
Here is the place where the lessons are held ! It is located near the Tomoe river where a lot of Koi carp await for some food 🙂
Here are a glimpse of Mrs. Koyama’s works.
Koyama-san has an impressive carrier in this field. She has numerous award and appeared on TV several times. She is now sharing calligraphy with passion to young children and adult, in Shizuoka neighborhood. She also teaches in high school and do calligraphic performance with her students !
After choosing the kanji you want to write (I decided on the characters of my own name : Saki “紗輝”), my professor for the day – or sensei-, wrote down the characters in red ink.
Then, soon after it was my turn ! Beforehand, I was given a lecture on how to hold the brush -or fude 筆-, how to put ink evenly…
Writing down the characters, with the model sheet from Koyama-sensei, is not an easy task !
It is important to be relaxed, become aware of your own breathing. It really is in phase with the Japanese way of zen.
After several trial I wrote down the kanji on a colored paper – a shikishi-. It is a hard paper you can bring home !
Do you see the small red stamp at the bottom left of the paper ? Here, Mrs. Koyama guides you to carve you own seal -or tenkoku-in 篆刻印– ! A seal is considered your signature in Japan. Your work is finished only once you put your in 🙂
The stone used is a soft stone, to facilitates the carving !
A shodô book exists with the different style of writing for each existing kanji.
You can chose from there the style you prefer for your own seal.
Koyama-san will show you the way to write the different style for your character.
Then, it is your turn to write down on the layer, to copy it on the stone and to carve it !
A special red mud -or indei– is used. The color won’t fade away !
Commemorative photo for the occasion with sensei and her husband : Mr. Koyama. He is fluent in English and will accompany your every step in you calligraphic experience !
After the lesson, we were served japanese sweets wagashi with green tea. Sensei did the calligraphy for the sweets packaging !
It was a nice moment, talking with Mr. and Mrs. Koyama. I would have loved to know more about her works 🙂
Many thanks to Koyama-sensei for her patience and kind advice, I was able to write down my name in a beautiful way !
I still need practice though :D, but it made me want to write more.
It really was a special experience, by all means. I would have never thought of carving my own seal in Japan ! I’m thankful to have had this opportunity.
I recommend this experience highly ! The calligraphy lesson was held in a calm atmosphere, you can focus on your characters with Mrs. Koyama gentle voice. Also, you can buy a seal in a lot of place, but you won’t be able to personalize it and create it this way.
At Local travel Partners, we provide this calligraphy and seal carving experience : it takes around 2 to 2 hours and a half. You are received with sweet . We can adjust the content to your wish. Please feel free to ask us for details 🙂