Proud – and a Little Ashamed of Being So

I’m not usually one to crow. I learned humility well and early, often with good reason. Tooting your own horn is unseemly. I am from a different age, I suppose. But I am disproportionately proud of this one bit of calligraphy that I did for a level up test recently. So enamored of it, in … Continue reading Proud – and a Little Ashamed of Being So

Shodo – Mountain Village in Spring

My kana practice from last month is another waka poem. The rough translation is below. The fragrance of plumsAmong the sounds around youThe familiar chirp of the bush warblerMountain village in Spring 梅が香に、類へて聞けば、うぐひすの、声なつかしき、春の山里 As a side note, the bush warbler doesn't really have the poetic punch that another bird might have, say the nightingale or … Continue reading Shodo – Mountain Village in Spring

Moon on a Spring Evening

Working on another waka for kana practice. It goes kumo nakute, oboronari tomo, miurukana, kasumi kakareru, haruno yonotsuki 雲なくておぼろなりとも見ゆるかな霞かかれる春の夜の月 Which I think means Despite the cloudless sky, it’s still obscured, can one see, the haze covered moon on this spring evening

Ride the Wind of Flowers

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, … Continue reading Ride the Wind of Flowers

Conscious Incompetence- Shodan Style

In psychology, they say there are four stages of competence. They rise like this: 1) Unconscious Incompetence, when you suck so bad you don't even know how bad you suck, 2) Conscious Incompetence, when you know you suck and just exactly how badly, 3) Conscious Competence, when you are good but you really gotta concentrate … Continue reading Conscious Incompetence- Shodan Style

Kana Level-up Test

The best part of the level up test is when you can write free hand. Normally, I have to copy as perfectly as possible. That can be fun but a little boring. Of course, Sensei always helps with composition, but I really do have a free hand. This time, the assignment was the following waka … Continue reading Kana Level-up Test

Kana Test – Part 2 (pt. 1 coming later)

Twice a year, we get to take a test to level up. Last year, I jumped two levels in kana, which kind of made me jump up and down for joy. It's pretty damned hard to get a level when you just submit every month. Which kind of makes me wonder why you can level … Continue reading Kana Test – Part 2 (pt. 1 coming later)

Japan Writers Conference 

This last weekend I joined the Japan Writers Conference at Tokushima University. An annual event, about a hundred educators, journalists, poets, writers, and hangers-on like myself gather at a host university and spend two days giving and participating in presentations, panels, workshops, and readings. It all started on Friday night with a dinner party at … Continue reading Japan Writers Conference