Swish. Swash. My Japanese brush pen streaks down the white paper, making a pitch-black line on the surface. I raise my brush pen but only slightly, and now I create a swift line across the paper. I have just written the kanji 十, meaning ten.
This is Japanese calligraphy, which I learn with my brother every week. Each month, we keep practicing a few selected words and give the final product to another teacher who inspects it and chooses to make our rank in calligraphy higher or not to change it.
Japanese calligraphy is called shuji (pronounced shuuji) and is practiced by many Japanese people. Its a very good way to develop neater hand-writing and is simply beautiful on its own.
We have a fabulous teacher that teaches us shuji. She uses wild hand motions and funny examples to lead us through the path of shuji mastery. I get better and better each time I practice, and I enjoy practicing it. My teacher helped me to enjoy it even more.
Shuji has been and will be used often, in different events and happenings. For example, when a father or a mother choose their baby’s name, they write the name on a piece of paper with a brush. Even when the new era name was chosen in April this year, it was written with a brush and fit into a frame. Fun fact: Shuji was actually one of the highest skills a nobleman could have from about 2000 years ago when it was made, till the end of the Edo Period (1868)!
So after some history, background, and facts about shuji, I am giving you an offer. If you comment below, you have the chance to make me write a word you like to Japanese! With a traditional brush! The winner (or winners if there are many participants) will be announced on November 16th.
*EDIT: If you want a specific word/words, then you can comment in either language, and I will write that in Japanese!
Well, that’s it for this post! Bye, and God bless!