今年もご挨拶 Greetings, again




I went to see and greet a great (both in size and richness as a work of art) work by my teacher again to a major temple in Kyoto.
It was only too natural to be overwhelmed by its same vigorous impression as always. But … somehow or other, he seldom appears in my dreams these days, which means, maybe he wants me to be self-supported, I wonder.

稽古日でした Practice session



I somewhat feel the same old kind of motifs and tastes are found when searching the materials for calligraphy with words and phrases such as “autumn” and “ancient Chinese poetry”.

ネットワーキング What I lack now






Last Saturday afternoon, I visited an exhibition of a calligraphy school presided over by one of the senior students at the school I belonged to for decades.

A grand shrine called Daihonzan Zuishin’in (in Japanese) which is deeply connected with Ono no Komachi was chosen as its venue to the visitors’ pleasant surprise!

In spite of the long period of my learning at the school with many branches not only in and around Kyoto but various regions in Japan, interactions with daughters and granddaughters of my teacher and his wife are almost only regular relations I have now from belonging to this large organization. As I hadn’t done any network-building among the other students, or rather, as I was was the youngest student and only regarded by other elder students as “the youngest and teacher’s pet” both amiably and maliciously, this “senior student” is the only person whose contact information I possess at present. How I wish I had interactions with other good teachers in various parts of Japan, so as to introduce them to the people interested in learning calligraphy and living in distant places!

表具屋さんの楽しみ It’s their job, anyway…but




A conversation with someone the other day reminded me that I had heard the paperhangers were very happy to do the jobs for the exhibitions of my teacher’s school, saying “Because the works of the students of this school have various, different characters, it’s very interesting to do our jobs. While, the works of the other teachers’ schools are not much different from their teachers’ works, same kind of writing of the letters, same kind of tones of works…”
What we were talking at that time was how essential it is to find a good teacher when you want to learn something.
The photograph shows one of my works that was gathering rather unfavorable, cold stares at my exhibition at the beginning of 2009, “Wish you were here”.

稽古日でした Practice session



We had a practice session for the first time in three weeks and had some kind of nostalgic feelings even toward the small conference room rented for our practice sessions.

難しいのに・・・ Something so challenging






Writing same characters repeatedly.

It is just for me that it is too difficult.

The photo shows what difficulty I had when practicing copying my teacher’s work.

湧書会10月と11月の稽古日 Yushokai schedules in October and November





会場:京都教育文化センター( http://www2.odn.ne.jp/kyobun/ ) 303会議室








Please find below the Yushokai practice session schedules in October and November.

*Date: October 3, 10, 17 November 7, 14, 21 (Wednesdays)

*Time:6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Feel free to come in by 7 p.m.)

*Place:Room 303, Kyoto Kyoiku Bunka Center


*First five people to apply will be welcome each time.

*You can use the calligraphy utensils such as brushes, ink sticks, inkstones, papers and others provided by Yushokai at the venue.

*Fee:1000 yen per session

*If you are interested and want to join us, please let us know beforehand.

Thank you.

Tomoko Minami

秋の詩 Autumn poem




I was happy to find a tanka poem about autumn with a velvety note and used it as a material. I got even happier to see I was somewhat successful to express its mellowness. However, I am afraid it would not make a good model for beginners, because of its obscurity. I think I should make another try for Yushokai participants.

稽古日でした Practice session





I’d like to write here again that the participants at Yushokai generally don’t like practicing kana characters very much. I myself enjoy writing kana works.

And I wondered why others don’t seem to do it willingly. Japanese children usually start learning kanji (Chinese characters) after mastering how to read and write kana characters, which makes people tend to think kanji are more difficult, and that is quite true in terms of complexity in shape. However, trying to write kana properly using a brush skillfully can be more difficult than in case of writing kanji works, which, I think, sometimes make people hate practicing kana. When I observe the participants at Yushokai, I often find young people preoccupied with the idea that the figures of printed letters, especially those of gothic typeface are “good letters”, which, of course, isn’t true in regard to the old style of calligraphy. That, I think, can cause some young people less motivated and confident when writing kana characters.

108回目 Happy birthday!





湧書会に来てくれる人にも、「経験ない」と言いながらも、すぐに本当にいい線(互いに響き合い、素敵な世界を造り上げるようないい線)を産み出して、実に好ましい作品を創る人がいます。そんな素敵な作品を見ていると、何十年もかかってようやくここまで来ている自分のその何十年という年月は何だったんだろう・・・? と、ちょっと虚しいような気分にさえなります。




The day before yesterday, I went to a painting exhibition where I thought about the “power” people’s interest can produce, though my purpose of going there was only to see my friend’s works.

Some participants at Yushokai sessions create marvelous pieces after practicing only briefly, saying it is their first time doing that. Those works are made up with attractive lines, that is, reverberant lines assembled to bring forth a really favorable impression.

Looking at those excellent works sometimes makes me feel hollowed out, recalling the decades of years needed for me to be as good as I am today.

Those people who successfully created good works the moment they began, I am positive, have held a pretty strong interest in Japanese calligraphy for long, but yet, they couldn’t dare to take it up, thinking about having to buy various utensils and couldn’t be really sure about attending a school regularly.

My wish is to provide a chance for those people to actually try grinding an inkstick on an inkstone and using a brush and eventually to express their own universe on a sheet of paper even for once.

This is what I thought about today, my teacher’s 108th birthday.

臨書 Copying my teacher’s work




Let us maximize our mutual communication as venerable human beings.

稽古日でした Practice session




I had been thinking which to choose from the two sets of materials I prepared for the sessions of this month till just before today’s session began. There would be no major difference anyway, though.