Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shodo -Way of Lettering

Ever since I came back to Japan three years ago, I wanted to take lessons of some sort of thing. I semi-started going to French class but after awhile the schedule didn't quite fly for me. I looked into kimono lessons, but couldn't find anything available during my time off. I really wanted to do horse-back riding, but it was way above my budget.

And guess what, though! I just started taking a calligraphy lesson.

It's something I always was fascinated, yet didn't quite think of actually trying simply because I didn't know where to begin. I did learn it at school when I was 10 or so? but the main thing I remember is that I liked the smell of the ink and the yet-to-be-used brushes felt really nice on my cheek and back of my hands. I also remember having the hardest time writing my name with a brush so much that I believe that my childhood loath for my name had partially been due to being calligraphi-cally challenged.

I was shown some works of Japanese calligraphy of late, and was immediately fascinated. Like drawing that I am partial to, it's art on a piece of paper. The letters come alive and they can mean so much more than what it reads, or tells a story more strongly than what it means. I loved that. So I was offered a lesson to try at home, and I took it.

We practiced lettering "a path of cherry blossoms" upon my request to use the letter cherry blossoms for the starter. The master said it's easier to start with two letters instead of one, so we added "path".

The first one being the master's, of course. He did that in a matter of 20 seconds or less. The second one mine, on my first try. Took me like 3 minutes.

"You have a good feel," he said kindly, "but you DO suck at lettering your name." Well, thanks. I just have to practice, then.

I've found another hobby, I'm afraid.

Until next time,


  1. Wow your lettering is a lot better than what I can do lol. I remember having to do calligraphy when I was in school in HK and I was, and still am, absolutely terrible at it. I blame it on the stupid way I have to hold the brush.

  2. Fai: thank you very much, first of all, for leaving a comment. And thank you for complementing on my first work.

  3. ^_^ You're welcome. Fai is me (Tim) btw if you didn't know already... Apparently I have multiple google accounts and don't even know it until now.

  4. Tim: I thought it might be either you or Kei for the simple reason that I only know two of you that have lived in Hong Kong. Leaving a comment under any name is quite welcome.

  5. How powerful!
    I konow the most difficult part is name.