作成者別アーカイブ: yushokai

yushokai について

I live in Kyoto, Japan, where I was born and raised. I began practicing calligraphy at age seven under the late Akiyama Kodo, a distinguished master of calligraphy whose calligraphic works are found even today on stone monuments for public parks and fasciae for long-established businesses. Despite my age, I think I am increasingly active in my calligraphic practice. "My works give the impression of lightheartedness and overflowing vitality, evoking the dance of air and the flow of clear water" is what people tell me, I am happy and proud to tell you. My distinct style has attracted many followers both domestic and abroad. Having continued for over half a century to be evolving as a calligrapher, I am never willing to compromise. May accomplishments: Solo exhibition, 2009 and three group exhibitions in Kyoto, Japan (2011, 2013, 2015) Participation in a group exhibition in Poznan, Poland, November 2017 Productions as requested from individuals, businesses and citizen’s movements

Degree of freedom of Chinese characters

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This is a quite well-known haiku by Basho (松尾芭蕉), one of the most popular haiku poets in early Edo period in Japan.

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Apparently, my most important friend as to my career as a calligrapher likes it, because he quoted it in his recent message to me.

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However, my biggest interest and what I wanted to show the readers here is the structure of the Chinese character for “autumn”.

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The letter has two parts, in other words it can be vertically divided into two parts.  And we usually write it just the opposite way from how I did here.  However, what did here is never a mistake.

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In short, when it comes to writing some Chinese characters, it doesn’t matter which way you put the two parts, that is, it isn’t very strictly defined which part should be right and which one should be put left side.

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To sum up, concerning how Chinese characters should be written, there is much wider latitude than people would usually expect.

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On this road/

No one will follow me/

In the autumn evening/

 

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Something feminine

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This is another piece exhibited at the third exhibition of Yushokai held in July, 2015, sort of a medley of my works on thin strips of paper called tanzaku with haiku and tanka as motifs.

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Maybe I just wanted to look like a highly sophisticated women to do something like this at that time.

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To forget both

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I found this from an anthology of Zen philosophy phrases.

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“To surmount the dualistic thinking pattern that all of us tend to fall into.”

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“Life or death”  “To do or not to do”  “Yes or no”  “Good or bad”  “Joy or sorrow” …

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And the phrase recommends us to try to enjoy being sort of “indefinite”.

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However, I just wonder if that is possible at all.  For, there are so many things to worry about in my life.

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Professional calligrapher?

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This is one of my pieces exhibited at the first exhibition of Yushokai in July, 2011.

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I was very much inspired by a book about Zen phrases written by Ms. Yukari Ishii, a well-known and popular astrologist and writer and picked one item from the book as a motif for my calligraphy work.  Being a great fan of hers, I sent her my best work.

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Then, to my ultimate delight, she posted its photo on her blog on November 11, 2010!!

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Regrettably, however, one day she stopped writing her blog quite suddenly.

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And more regrettable at this point is the fact that I had sent her the best one and so what the photo shows is my second best.

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Autumnal indication

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According to the old lunar calendar, we are now in the last stage (out of three) of the autumn season.

The photo shows the result of my copying practice of the work by my first teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo 秋山公道.

If put into words/

It is only that/

Willow leaves are falling/

Translation by Chio

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Joy to love …

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… and happiness to be loved.

This is one of my past works that was exhibited at my first solo exhibition in the beginning of 2009.

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Actually it makes me embarrassed for two reasons.

(1) It gives out so much girlish taste.

(2) Calligraphic skill is so poor.

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However, it is very heartwarming for me, as well, for whenever I see the photo, it reminds me of the precious, fond memories of my friends, my parents and my teacher who were really supportive for the success of the exhibition.

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Dreamy poem

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This is one of my past works that was exhibited at the Third Exhibition of Yushokai in July, 2015.

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I learned that it was a dreamy, fantastic poem, which intrigued me very much.

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However, I repented a little bit when I began writing it because it is a very long poem and moreover, somehow I inadvertently chose a very long sheet of paper, that is, longer that normal kind of long, big sheets of paper.

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Delayed fulfillment of a promise

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These are for my dear friend from high school days.

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I met her a month ago at a kind of a reunion and promised her to write one letter from her name 美 meaning “beauty”.

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Actually, I am very grateful for her appreciation for my calligraphy, which is always encouraging for me when I practice calligraphy and try to create something new.

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By contrast, there sure are some people who just don’t think good about my calligraphy.  Those people even won’t say flattering things about my calligraphy even though they fully know I have been practicing it for long.

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For that reason, I knew I should have delivered on my promise immediately.  However, in actuality, these days I have only been thinking how I could make a good piece of the letter.

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It took about a month and the worse thing is I only came up with my old idea, that is, a combination of a letter used at present and an ancient form of the same letter.

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I sent her these two and the one put behind is my little, old piece with a phrase “fruitful, gracious showers” because she is precisely that sort of good-natured person.

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Utmost joy

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Waking up mother/

Little, pleasant time/

Reflected in the fall sunshine/

Chio

Today, the third Monday of September, is designated as the Respect-for-Senior-Citizen Day in Japan.

When I wake up my 91-year-old mother and help her get ready and have breakfast is my happiest time these days.

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Tarot reading at a shrine

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I had my fortune forecast by tarot reading today, and at a shrine, that was!  A number of encouraging cards gave me lots of happy inspiration.

Moreover, as a written oracle lover, I got the shrine’s written oracle, as well.

In the lonely, inactive, withering, deep mountains in winter/

Trees are waiting for the spring to bloom/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Happy birthday

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Today, September 11th, was the birthday of my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) who passed away around 25 years ago at age 92.  The photo shows his writing of his own poem about how he felt when he turned ninety years old.  A man of letters in those days could compose Chinese style poems adequately following the rules, as well as Japanese style poems, such as haiku’s, tanka’s and what not.

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Another forgotten one

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When I was trying to clean up my terribly cluttered room, I found another piecefrom my young days.  I have completely forgotten about this one, either, and I have no idea how many years ago I did this.

The only thing I found from these two pieces is that I like the phrase, “poetic gracefulness”.

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White dew

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Today marks 白露, one of the seasonal stages according to the traditional East Asian calendar. It literally means “white dew” and remarks that about this time, the atmosphere gets cooler and white dews begin to fall.

I practiced copying a work of a haiku on this season done by my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) many years ago.

Twisting bush clovers/

Won’t drop/

White dews/

Translation calligraphy by Chio

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I love taking calligraphy lessons!

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This was the task for today’s lesson.

It is one of the Zen phrases meaning that just watching clouds, you are having the upmost pleasure because clouds tell you many things; the season, the weather, the direction of the wind; and they transform pretty frequently and engrossingly.  Moreover, they are visible anywhere you are; indoors, on the beach, in the mountains….

This tanzaku or a strip of paper is pasted with very thin bark of Japanese cypress noted for its pleasant aroma.

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He loves me he loves me not

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The poet says she leaves the last one petal as is.  I thought if only one petal was left, the result was simply obvious.  The poet must be enjoying the feeling of afterglow of the girlish taste fortunetelling.

Why did I choose this haiku?  Of course, it is because I like fortunetelling. And fortunetelling of all kinds, that is.

When pulling petals off a flower/

Daringly l leave the last one/

Undisturbed/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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My work from the year 2007

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This was one of the main items for my solo exhibition in 2008, which is a pretty big work of about 136cm x 70cm.

Here I wrote a passage from an ancient Chinese history book of 14thcentury.  I chose this passage because it briefly touches the origin of mathematics.  As I used to work with mathematicians, I feel warm attachment to mathematics and mathematicians.

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Afternoon nap

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I thought I would practice a lot today.  However, seeing my mother nodding off sitting beside me, I myself became sleepy as well….

Drowsiness turns/

Ink slab/

Into late summer sea/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio.

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Collaboration by four people

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  1.  First my mother wrote the big letters, “Gold” and “Fish”:
  2.  Then I searched and found a poem from the ancient China about pretty gold fish.  And I wrote the poem in small letters around the big ones by my mother:
  3.  One of the caregivers that looked after my mother then was very good at the art of folding paper into various figures (origami) and she made those golden fish:

And

  1.  A craftsman from the picture framer I always ask my works to be framed came up with this stylish frame.

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Words of wisdom

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This is my work from around ten years ago.  The phrase is from the Analects of Confucius.  Its interpretation differs among each person.

I chose this one just because it has characters meaning “beauty” and “intellect”, the first letter of my name.  On top of that I wanted to see how the brush of a long sheaf of hair would work.

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Memory of a summer day

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I wrote this one about four years ago after visiting the facility for the elderly my mother then belonged to for the first time for a fun event for both the elderly and their families, a little concert of reed pipes.

In every household/

Is a good-hearted oldster/

Gourd flowers/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Favorite haiku

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This has been my favorite haiku for many years. However, I learned quite recently that this flower, hibiscus mutabilis, only blooms for one day and withers at sunset.

The man I put a curse on/

Is the one I love/

Scarlet flower of hibiscus mutabilis/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Excellent luck!

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Excellent luck!

Today I visited the shrine called Himukai-Daijingu for the first time in three months.  I got a written oracle there as I often do.  Its title said “excellent luck” which made me very happy, however, as I read the next part, I found a message in the form of the Japanese traditional poem, saying “You might feel as if you are walking on a rustic bridge over a swirling brook in a valley in the evening.”  And I wondered if this was really “Excellent luck”.

Then came an explanation that said as follows, “Although you at first have worries, you don’t need to dither.  Everything will be all right at the end.”

I just hope this divination comes true!

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Work from young days

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I am now trying to sort out my works from the past.  And in doing so, I found this one, which I have completely forgotten.  The movement of the brush gives awkwardness from youth.  In fact, I don’t use this seal under my signature any more.

The letters mean poetic gracefulness.

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Cheers!

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This wooden box cup for drinking sakéor Japanese wine was a souvenir for the hundreds of party participants that got together to celebrate longevity of my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道)who enjoyed a long life.  He himself wrote two Chinese characters of good omen on each cup.

So, again, here’s to the art and culture of calligraphy!

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No wonder they are called “lanterns”

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Elderly people sometimes say the spirits of the ancestors come back home from the afterworld guided by the red Chinese lantern fruits.  I hope they have already arrived here safely for the Bon Festival or the Buddhist Festival of the ancestral spirits.

Inside the Chinese lantern fruit/

Scarlet universe may exist/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Girls’ luncheon party at an Italian restaurant

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This is no “fancy” restaurant at all, but I was happy to chat with one of my good old friends who had been hospitalized for a considerable period because of a serious injury.  The truth is, however, she still has pain in the leg.  Despite this, I heard she resumed practicing ping-pong, her greatest pastime.  And I admire her positivity.

Cicadas are out (and noisy)/

My friend is also out of the hospital/

We celebrated with red wine/

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Please stay cool

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As a little, humble present for the temple we follow and support, I asked my mother to write one letter on a paper fan, a hiragana  (Japanese syllabary character).  The letter is the first one of the temple’s name.  As my mother turned 91 years old last month and is rapidly forgetting various things, I showed her what to write.

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Autumn begins

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Looking after an old parent is no easy task, even if you are dealing with your own mother.

According to the old lunar calendar, today marks the first day of autumn.

Unleashing love-hate/

To mom/

Autumn begins/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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I love taking calligraphy lessons!

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This was the task for today’s practice session.

It is a large-scale poem from the ancient Japan with motifs of sky, star, moon and cloud…

When remaking on my work, our teacher said to me something like, “If the ink goes blur, let it blur to the end.”  In other words, I was too timid and impatient.

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