A short poem by Mantaro Kubota, who I’d never heard of till I tried to write his poem in my Shodo class. Pretty cool though. It reads: shiragikuno yuukage fukumi someshi kana しらぎくの夕影ふくみそめしかな -久保田万太郎の句 Do the white chrysanthemums, in the evening shadow, seem tinged red
Happy Year of the Mouse! Apparently in China, they call it the year of the rat, but I’m in Japan… and I like mouse better. Every year, I do a Hatsumode (pronounced hah-tsu moe-day ) , a little pilgrimage to the local shrine. Literally, pilgrimage is what the “mode” part of Hatsumode means. I think … More Japan is Awesome – Hatsumode
My kanji for the month is part of an 8 kanji phrase, like many are. See below for the whole thing. I wrote the last four. 天地玄黄 宇宙洪荒 But I’ll start with the first two. Tenchi means sky and ground, or for the poets out there, heaven and earth. It basically means everything and everywhere. Then … More Shodo – Universal truth (not a fortune cookie)
My Shodo Sensei is too cool. She’s a master of the craft, of course. Her specialty is modern style. You have a lot more freedom, and has a lot more “meri-hari” which means curves and bumps, sort of. She’s creating a piece for a museum exhibition, and rather than just go for the traditional stuff, … More Ride the Wind of Flowers
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
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.
About a year and a half ago, I discovered a weird free magazine that inspired a “Japan is Awesome” post about mascots. The magazine wasn’t about mascots, but the cover kind of looked like it had one on it. Who knows how the mind works. The magazine is like a public service. I’m sure that … More Japan is Awesome – Creativity