I feel like Red Leader in Star Wars. I started Shodo about 4 years ago. I focused mostly on kanji and kana. Surprisingly, I’m progressing in kana more than kanji, which surprised my Sensei as much as me. I just took a level up test, and reached 2nd dan in kana, which is amazing. With … More Almost There, Stay on Target
As I learn more shodo I find I understand not only the art of the lettering, but also the poetry. Truth be told, I don’t really concentrate on the meaning of the words as I’m writing; I focus on the lines and the composition. But lately, the poems themselves are hitting me in the heart … More Shodo – Test up Kana
Been in Japan long enough to be able to read quite a bit now. But English still has a more direct line into my brain. I see the meaning without having to process the words. With Japanese, I have to concentrate, go from top level words to lower level meaning. So if I see a … More Japan is Awesome – Translations
Japanophiles are probably aware, but for the rest of the world it might come as news that the current emperor is going to step down in May. That means a change not only in Emperors, but also in the current era in Japan. The period during which the emperor rules has a name. You might … More A New Era – Reiwa
If you every thought that Nancy Reagan’s campaign in the 80’s to Just Say no to drugs was at best a joke, welcome to Japan. Below is a poster that shows you the best technique for refusing drugs. I kid you not, eat udon noodles instead. Because “If you feel like smoking, you should slurp … More Just Say Yes to Udon Noodles, and No to Drugs
Cherry blossoms peak like Olympic gymnasts, young and fast. It’s over before you know the best of it was last weekend. This week the petals are falling like snow, replaced with a new green that’s almost yellow. And I stop wondering why the aesthetic of Japanese poetry is sad and ephemeral.
Kanji this month was tough. I had a trouble looking up the following on the internet. 妍因俗易 I could be way off, but my best guess of a direct translation is: beauty changes with custom or, in more modern terms beauty is in the eye of the beholder (maybe?) Kana is another waka. あしはやに、くる春ならむ、雲竜の、やなぎ一度に、ふくれきにけり ashi … More Beauty in the Eye