Old Japanese way of thinking and feeling ピンク好き

標準

According to the old Japanese tradition, young women were allowed to wear clothing of cherry blossom color, however, women of middle aged or over shouldn’t wear the color of cherry blossom while the flowers were in full bloom and should be wearing the color after the period of their best was over.

Now I wonder what about I who am wearing pink color all year round.

I will dye my kimono deep cherry blossom color/

In order to make a reminder of the blossoms after they are gone/

Poem by Kino Aritomo

Calligraphy by Tomoko

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昔の日本の考え方では、桜の盛りの季節には、若い女性は桜色の着物を着てもいいけれども、中年以上の女性は花の盛りが過ぎてからでないと着るべきでないとされていたそうです。

年がら年中ピンクを着ている私はどうなるのでしょう?

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

The task for today’s practice session was to choose and write one letter from our own name. You can write it any way you want, because it is your own name. I did this remembering that I heard my father named me.

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今日のお稽古の課題は、自分の名前から一文字とって書く、というものでした。自分の名前だからどう書いてもいい。私は、父が名付けてくれたのだということを聞いたな、ということを思い出して書きました。

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Regular visit to the grave 記憶の通り

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Today I paid a visit to the grave of my mother’s family, which I do twice a year.

In my mother’s hometown, I have always felt more sunlight, that is, less shaded areas, and the air with much more dusts compared to Kyoto, my hometown.

In the spring sunlight/

Only dusts are/

Rising up/

Nothing has changed/

In mom’s hometown/

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今日は、母の実家の墓参りをしてきました。だいたい年に2回のペースでしますが。

母の実家の町は、私が生まれ育った京都に比べるといつも陽射しが多くて、つまり日陰が少なくて、埃っぽい気がします。

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Girls’ night 女子会

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A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine came to my house, saying “tonight is our girls’ night!” with lots of good things to eat.

I had simply too much to eat because the food she brought was so good, however, somehow “drinking” too much would not happen to me.

At a girls’ night party/

A falcon of perfume/

Asking for happiness/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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少し前のこと。

「女子会をやろう!」と美味しいお料理をたくさん持参して来てくださった方がいました。

食べ過ぎました。美味し過ぎて。でも、私の場合、どういうものか、飲み過ぎ、というのはあまり起こらない。

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Almost nothing fresh どうも平凡で・・・

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I have really been trying hard to escape from anything predictable, but just in vain. Ordinary layout. Lingering cold….

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枠からはみ出たいな、という気持ちはずっとあるのですが、出られない。平凡な散らし。去っていかない風邪。

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Something wild 季節のことば

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As I have been suffering from a cold, I haven’t practiced calligraphy for some time. Today, I resumed this activity by using two brushes, two brushes with extremely long tassels, that is.

The motif is a typical phrase for this season, “a caterpillar turns into a butterfly”.

As a matter of fact, I wish to have skills to express something wilder, unheard-of and unseen.

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風邪で暫く筆を持っていませんでした。

久しぶりに墨を磨って書いてみようと思ったら、つい筆を2本、それも長鋒を2本持っていました。

題材はごく普通に、この季節を表す「菜虫化蝶」。

本当は、もっともっと破天荒になりたい。

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Land-scale oriented この方が慣れていますか

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In the eastern world, calligraphy and paintings almost always have used portrait-oriented sheets of paper.

However, in order to match the taste of the people in Western world, we may try expressions on land-scale materials.

“Flower smiles” : Poetic expression of “Flower blooms”

“Fresh breeze”

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東洋の書画は昔から縦長の紙に書かれるのが常でした。

けれども、西洋の人たちに楽しんでもらうためには、横長に書くのがいいでしょうか。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

The task for today’s practice session was this.

Cleaning comes first:

Followed by piety.

Cleaning, especially wiping, will lessen your distresses, as they say, because it is almost impossible to worry about trifles while using a dustcloth or a map. However, among all kinds of household chores, I hate cleaning the most. My biggest trouble at the moment, I am afraid, is that it will certainly enlarge the volume of my distress.

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今日のお稽古の課題。

一に掃除。

二に信心。

掃除(取り分け拭き掃除)をすれば悩みもなくなる:悩みが気にならなくなる、ということらしいですが、私は家事の中で掃除が一番嫌い。余計に悩みが増えそうなのが悩みです。

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Beautiful names 親子の縁

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My mother’s name is Kinue and mine is Tomoko. I put these sounds Ki, Nu, E, Tomo, and Ko at the beginning of each line and wrote a poem.

I got this idea from a wonderful poem with a warm taste I found at a calligraphy exhibition I visited the other day.

Apparently, a mother wrote a poem putting the sounds of her daughter’s name at the beginning of each line, which I heard made the daughter so very happy. I tried the same manner.

 

Who are you?

What a strong bond we have had!

Like a coloring picture/

Let us continue painting together/

This picture of our lives, so VIVID/

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母の名前は、絹江。私の名前は知子。それで、その文字を行の頭に置いて歌にしてみました。

このアイデアは、先日見学した書展で、お母さんがお嬢さんのお名前でほのぼのとした良いお歌を書いておられるのを見て、ちょっと真似したものです。それで、お嬢さんはとても喜ばれたそうです。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

The task for today’s practice session was the very first part of the preface to Kokin Wakashu.

Although our teacher told us to write it as our own “creation”, you may notice my growing desperate a little.

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今日のお稽古の課題は古今和歌集の序文の、そのまたごく初めの部分。自分の「作品」にするように、とのことでしたが、ちょっとやけになっているのも感じられるかも知れません。

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New relationship 友達の友達は・・・

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In November last year, a heaven-sent opportunity enabled me to participate in a calligraphy exhibition in a foreign country far away from home.

I also got a new friend there. The photo shows my pieces I wrote by request from this new friend for her and her friend.

Being asked to make a calligraphy work is the greatest delight for me. I am principled to respond to this kind of request. I have never failed to.

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昨年11月に願ってもないチャンスがあり、遠い異国での作品展に参加させてもらいました。

新しい友人にも恵まれ、彼女とそのお友達のために書きました。

「書いて欲しい」と言ってもらえるのは何よりも嬉しいです。書いて欲しいと頼まれれば、絶対に断りません。断ったことはありません。

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Happy Valentine’s Day 友チョコ

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It is often pointed out that in Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a quite different manner from other countries.

 

Thanking through LINE/

Reflecting memories from long-lasting bonds/

On friendship chocolate/

 

I feel very happy to receive Valentine’s Day gifts of chocolate from female friends of long standing.

Every year, I spend a long time looking back at old school days and days in old workplaces.

Memories are fantastic, just because they don’t weigh or grow voluminous.

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旧い知り合いからの友チョコは嬉しいです。

学生時代のこと、旧い職場のこと、たくさんの思い出に想いを馳せながらいただきます。

思い出は、重くないし、嵩張らない。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

Today’s task was this; Time and tide wait for no man.

If literally translated, it would be something like “Years and months will not wait for people.”

That is THE difficulty.

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今日の課題はこれ。

歳月人を待たず。困るのですよね、それが。

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Beginning of spring 左右非対称

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It is Risshun, beginning of spring today according to the old lunar calendar.

The phrase 立春大吉roughly means “Beginning of spring; Excellent fortune.” I read somewhere that all the letters in this phrase are symmetrical, which is supposed to bring good luck.

I am afraid my pretending to be a sort on avant-garde calligrapher has spoiled the effect, though.

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今日は立春ですが、字全部が左右対称なところがめでたいのだと何かで読んだように思います。

こんな風にしてしまったら台無しですけどね。

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Scattering roasted beans on the last day of winter なくなっていく行事

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“Drive away ogres! Invite happiness into the house!”

When I was a small child, I used to hear the above phrase from houses in the neighborhood. People did shout while scattering roasted beans on Setsubun, the last day of winter, and I remember my father used to do that. However, these days in usual homes, the custom is seldom observed.

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私が子どもの頃、節分には普通の家庭でも「鬼は外! 福は内!」というのをやっていましたよ。

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Your problems 確かに・・・

標準

“Solve your problems by yourself.”

For the first time in a long time, I drew out a book of examples my teacher gave me more than 40 years ago. The page I happened to open was this: “Solve your problems by yourself.”

I must say the message is so true!

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「自分の問題は自分で片づけよ」

40年以上前に師からいただいた折手本を久しぶりに取り出して、ふと開けたところがこれ。

確かにそうなんですよね。

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Getting acquainted with people, enjoying good relationship 書縁

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“Calligraphy is amazing! It gives you wonderful relationship with others.”

I chose these words by my precious friend as a material for calligraphy today, if he kindly considers me as his friend, that is.

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書の縁を讃える、大切な友人の言葉を書きました。彼が私を友人だと思ってくれていれば、ですが。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

Combination of Chinese characters and kana characters, again.

On top of that, one is practicing copying classics; while the other is creation. The idea is being one-sided is not interesting.

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漢字と仮名の組み合わせ、再び

漢字と仮名というだけでなくて、片方は臨書、片方は創作、という対立。どちらかに偏ると面白くない、という考え方です。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

“Your uniqueness hasn’t been very prominent these days. Your works should be more amusing and intriguing as before!” was my teacher’s comment in today’s practice session.

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「この頃貴女らしさが感じられない。以前のように、もっと面白く!」と言われてしまいました。

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Great praise これ、忘れていましたが

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Someone praised my work to the skies that I wrote for my first solo exhibition held in the beginning of 2009. I have no idea how I could express my delight.

 

“It will take some more time for another flower to bloom.”

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2009年初めに開いた初めての個展のために書いたものを大いに褒めてくれた人がいました。嬉しい!

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Another well-received work in the well-received exhibition 解説つき

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This is another one I sent to the exhibition. It has my own tanka and haiku about my mother and looking after her. However, as I was afraid my poetry writing was not good enough to convey my feelings and present situation, I put a commentary as well.

 

Star and Moon/

Facing each other like smiling at each other/

To their beauty/

Mother offers/

Gratitude/

 

Taking old mother’s hand/

Flying in the universe together/

Starlit night/

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see my mother offering her gratitude to the beauty of the Venus and the Moon facing each other as if they were smiling at each other, when I put her in her wheel chair and went out for a short walk, because she became fretful after dinner one evening in fall.

 

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新春書藝展に出品したもう一つの作品です。母のこと、介護のことを短歌と俳句に書いて、それだけでは拙くて分かってもらえないといけませんから解説も付けました。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

We had the first practice session of the year.

A combination of works; one, a kanji piece of a Zen words on old pine trees, the other, a kana piece of a waka on young pine trees.

Everyone in the class did a good job, which pleased our teacher.

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今日は稽古初めでした。

古い松の木についての禅語と若松を詠んだ和歌の組み合わせ作品。皆がいい作品を書いたので先生が喜んでおられました。

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Exhibition of the new year ご満悦

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My mother and I went to the new-year exhibition of the works by our teacher and her students. My mother is smiling so delightedly. Just as the last year, I asked her to write one letter, this time “flower”.

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先生のお弟子たちのグループ展で。

今年も母に一文字だけ書いてもらいました。今回は「花」。

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It’s too late, baby, now it’s… 遅いっ!

標準

This should have been posted yesterday.

 

The photo shows two of my calligraphy works and the one composed of four Chinese characters is a kind of motto of the Winter Solstice, meaning swinging from the negative to the positive, because the days will certainly be longer with the midwinter day as a turning point.

The other one shows my haiku poem about “yuzu-yu”, or bath with Japanese citron. In Japan, it is a traditional custom to put scentful yuzu (Japanese citron) fruits in the bath on the Winter Solstice.  People have believed it works to keep your good health during the cold season.

It is the soft steam/
That plays the leading role/
Bath on the Winter Solstice/

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昨日書けば良かったんですけどね。

「一陽来復」と柚子湯を詠んだ(つもりの)私の句です。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

The task for today’s lesson was to write something on a 2018 calendar. After all, time seems to pass quicker and quicker as growing older and older.

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今日は来年のカレンダーを書きました。やはり年をとると時間の過ぎるのが早い!

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

In today’s lesson, we practiced characters symbolizing next year’s Oriental Zodiac, the dog. Somehow time seems to pass quicker and quicker as growing older and older.

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もう来年の干支のお稽古をしました。年をとると時間の過ぎるのが早い!

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I asked my mother the same thing as the last year. 「一文字企画」再び

標準

I chose a tanka by Hakushū Kitahara for a collaboration work with my mother. As I did last year I asked her to write the last one letter meaning “flower”.

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白秋の短歌を書きましたが、最後の一文字だけ母に書いてもらいました。去年と同じです。

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Passing through space and time 鳥肌立っちゃう!

標準

On Saturday, I went to see the exhibition of the original pictures by Ms. Moto Hagio. It was such a thrilling experience. She certainly is a great talent.

In comparison, my calligraphy looks so commonplace and uninteresting.

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土曜日に萩尾望都さんの原画展を観に行きました。やはり天才だと思いました。

それに引き換え、私の字のつまらないこと・・・!

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Season of chrysanthemums 菊花開

標準

The phrase says this is about the time chrysanthemums bloom.

Now, I remember my late father was pretty pleased with my flower arrangement of only chrysanthemums displayed at our entrance when I was young and practicing Japanese style flower arrangement, Ikebana, like many other Japanese young women. And I was extremely surprised, because my father was a kind of person who would not notice flowers or any other decorations, if there were any. I realized then the flowers had a big presence.

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若かった頃のこと、お花のお稽古で習った菊だけの盛り花を玄関に飾っておいたら、普段は花があるのかないのかにも気づかない亡父が喜んでくれたのを覚えています。存在感のある花なのだと思いました。

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Free movement of the brush 変に男性的かも知れない

標準

“The moon” is a seasonal word for autumn in haiku composing. The photo shows my work of six or seven years ago. The third letter from the last represents “the moon”. The last three letters are “the moon”, “near” and “the people”.

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月は秋の季語のようですから、月が出てくるものを探しました。6〜7年前に書きましたが、最後の3文字は、月が人の近くにあると言っているかなと思います。

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Basic variety 外国の人に見て欲しいもの

標準

One is a hanging scroll with a haiku written in kana or a calligraphy style with Japanese alphabet, and the other is a scroll to be spread on a table with kanji or Chinese characters work. Will these serve as samples to show to the people in the Western World?

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壁に吊り下げる軸装で仮名のものと、テーブルに置く巻子で漢字のもの。西洋の人たちに見てもらう見本はこれでいいかな、と考え中です。

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Which do you prefer? 長鋒で書いたのと普通の筆を使ったのと

標準

Both have same motif, a tanka poem <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanka> with a dash of grotesqueness by Chūya Nakahara. < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chūya_Nakahara

>

For the yellow paper, I used a brush with a batch of longer tissues than normal ones, while for the white paper, I used a normal type of brush.

As you may be aware, it is difficult to handle a brush with long hair skillfully. But if you succeed, it can create interesting lines, and I like using those brushes.

 

When I open my eyes on a winter night/

I fancy an apparition of a girl with silver eyes/

Stands in the darkness/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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ちょっと怪奇趣味の中原中也の短歌です。黄色い紙のは長鋒で、白い方は一般的な長さの筆を使いました。

長鋒を使いこなすのはとても難しいですが、うまくすると面白い線が書けるから好きです。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

We learned that the phrase meant “taking a walk cheerfully and leisurely under the blue sky”. However, unfortunately I haven’t enjoyed that kind of feeling these several months.

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青空の下、朗らかに、且つのんびりと散歩するといった意味らしいですが、この数ヶ月間、そういう気分ではありませんでした。

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Inspiration from my friends 俳句二首

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I was inspired by e-mail and posting on SNS by my friends and enjoyed writing haiku for the first time in a long time.

 

Wafting/

To a different dimension/

Sweet osmanthus/

 

Passion flower/

In the morning/

After awaken from a dream of Dali/

 

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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久しぶりに俳句を楽しんで書きました。それぞれ友人からのメールやSNSへの投稿からヒントを得ました。

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Dance! Dance! Dance!! 好きな字

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I like the kanji for “dance” 舞. And I wrote the one used nowadays in light black ink first, and then, I placed three ancient letters for “dance” on it. I hear dancing originally was offering to deity. However, as this one looks a little eerie, I wonder if this one was a kind of magical dancing.

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「舞」は好きな字です。それで、背景に現代使われている字を薄墨で書いて、その上に、古代文字を濃い墨で載せました。舞は元々神聖に捧げるものだったと聞きますが、これはちょっと不気味な感じになってしまったので、呪術的な舞かな、と思いました。

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Is this a haiku about Christmas Eve? 暑苦しいよね

標準

It is often said that all expressionists, including fashion designers and people in the film industry should be able to imagine and express a different season from the reality.

I wrote the one in the photo in the beginning of September when it was still the lingering summer heat was intense, expecting it to be presented in November. I think I did a reasonably good work. However, I have to admit it has a kind of stifling summer feel, although its motif is a haiku about the Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve deepens/

Earth is filled with/

People’s prayers/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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ファッションデザイナーや映画関係者などを、表現者は実際の季節とは異なる時候を想像して表現できなければならない、とはよく聞きます。

これは9月の初めの残暑が厳しかった頃に、11月に発表することを念頭に書きました。出来としてはまあまあかと思いますが、聖夜の俳句にしては余りにも暑苦しい雰囲気で・・・。

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End of summer 夏の終わり

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I have completely forgotten when or how many years ago I did the one in the photo. For some reason I don’t really know, only its image data remains and the work itself is nowhere to be found.

Summer passed away/

Painting the whole sky/

In dark red/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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これはもう何年前に書いたものか忘れてしまいました。何故か画像データだけが残っていて、実物がありません。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

We were supposed to practice copying an ancient text of reisho style. However, as my mind drifting a little, it began looking more like kaisho style.

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隷書の臨書のはずが、ちょっとぼんやりしていると、楷書になってしまいます。

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Special practice session 特別稽古日でした

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Today I practiced calligraphy with one of my old friends, if she kindly considers me to be her friend, that is, and a young pretty woman from Finland. I had so much fun and just hope they did, too.

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旧い友人と(彼女が私を友達だと思ってくれるなら、ですが)フィンランドから来た若い可愛らしいお嬢さんの三人でお稽古しました。楽しかった! お二人もそうだといいですが。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

At the end of today’s lesson, we had to write Iroha. I thought mine wasn’t very good with so little shades of ink color. However, my teacher encouraged me to try again, because she thinks it might make an interesting work.

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今日のお稽古の最後にいろは歌を書きました。余りにも墨色の変化がないのでこれはダメだと思いましたが、先生は、その変化が出せればいい作品になるかもとおっしゃってくださいました。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

Today I attended an intensive lesson that lasted almost whole day. But unfortunately, the first one I did shown in the photo turned out to be the best one.

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一日中続いた錬成会でしたが、朝一番に書いたのが一番出来がいい・・・。

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Big event 作品展のこと

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Big event 作品展のこと

A big event of calligraphy will take place in November. I have been practicing to create works to be exhibited there.

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11月に作品展が予定されているようですので、それ用の作品を書こうとしています。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

標準

The task for today’s lesson was to write a few letters on a horizontally long piece of paper in a right balance, which was just too difficult for me.

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横長の紙を使ってのバランスの取り方が課題でしたが、難しかったです。

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