タグ別アーカイブ: calligraphy

Pacifism

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The photo shows my works I sent to my special friend I got acquainted at the occasion of TRZY RZEKI 2017 KYOTO POZNAN held in November 2017 and has been my close friend ever since.

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This lady has been a very serious and committed teacher at a primary school in Poznań, Poland where this unique calligraphy exhibition was held.

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As I used to be a teacher myself, I have noticed she was an excellent teacher.

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Then one day, she sent me a message asking me for a calligraphic work meaning “Never war” in Japanese.  She said she would use it as a part of her teaching materials on the 80thanniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

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That is why I sent her these “anti-war” and “peace”, which, according to her, generated interests among her students in both the contents of her lesson and Japanese style calligraphy.

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Moreover, she informed the parents of her students about my calligraphy pieces displayed in the classroom.  Again, according to her, they showed much interests in my calligraphy.

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I felt firstly very honored to be asked to provide my calligraphy pieces and then felt really happy to know they got to be seen by many people.

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This lady is a really kind, thoughtful person and as I wrote before she is definitely an excellent teacher.  No wonder she was decorated an honorable premium.  I deeply thank her for giving me this wonderful opportunity to show my works to many people.

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And I also thank my calligraphy teachers and seniors who taught me never to decline any request to write something as a calligraphic item.

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Joy of calligraphy in your daily life

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The photo shows my works exhibited at the First Exhibition of Yushokai held in July 2011.

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There are two important points about these, I think, that will appeal to people.

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Firstly, they are small and easy to handle and decorate in your living room or kitchen or any room or entrance in your house. And that will realize the key motto “joy of calligraphy in daily life” that my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) had upheld through all his life.

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And, they have this new and unique feature of combining paper and cloth for calligraphy works of art.

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I love taking calligraphy lessons!

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The task for today’s practice session was this; a well-known rule of life, according to our calligraphy teacher, that is, that consists of four parts.

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(1) You must not feel astonished easily

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(2) You must not feel frightened easily

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(3) You must not be skeptic with little reasoning

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and

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(4) You must not be deluded easily.

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YouTube channel

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I posted a new and fifth video on my YouTube channel (chio_art) that I newly set up.

Check this and enjoy my calligraphy!

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For, you will enjoy witnessing how characters are born out of a brush, ink and an artist’s arm with this amazing device by my precious friend.

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The content is my Tanka, a Japanese style poem consists of 31 syllables about my mother’s hometown.  I go there twice a year in spring and fall to visit her family’s grave.  And I am going to visit it this weekend.

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In the spring sunlight/

Only dusts are dancing in the air/

What never changes/

Is Mother’s hometown/

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Hurray for friendship, again!

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I am so happy to shout “Hurray for friendship!” again.

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A good old friend of mine from high school days came to my house with delightful presents, some calligraphy utensils some of which are from China the destination of her last trip.

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Quiet, fulfilling time of grinding an inkstick/

Winter begins /

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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I just don’t understand why so many people want to use chemically synthesized ink.

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Hurray for friendship!

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The photo shows my little and early year-end gifts for my dear friends I met in Poznań, Poland at the occasion of TRZY RZEKI 2017 KYOTO POZNAN held in November 2017.

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The event surely broadened my horizon of life, however, the most important thing about it for me was I met many special friends there.

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These are very small folding screens made of thick paper for calligraphy and that suit to be used on tables or racks.

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I wrote a haiku about warm friendship on them.

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Friendship gives/

Emotional support/

Even winter feels warm/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Not yet begun

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This was exhibited in the First Exhibition of Yushokai held in July 2011.

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For this piece, I quoted a passage from Ms. Yukari Ishii’s blog, which unfortunately she erased completely some time ago.  She is a super popular astrologist and writer and writes on many subjects other than horoscope reading.

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The passage can be roughly translated…

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“Misty kind of non-entity that might be going to be a river but forms nothing yet”

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In those days, I was into using very light colored ink.

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YouTube channel

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I posted a new video on my YouTube channel (chio_art) that I newly set up.

Check this and enjoy my calligraphy!

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For, you will plainly see how Japanese style calligraphy is done.

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Here I chose the letter絹 (silk), just because it is the first letter of my mother’s name.

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And as for the style, I chose the cursive style, for I think it emphasizes the softness of the letter.  At the end of the video, the cameraman urged me to show the result, so I did that.  However, that is not a common practice.

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Develop my talent?

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For the first time in a long time, my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) appeared in my dream.  This time he was accompanied by his wife, the late Mrs. Akiyama Seisetsu (秋山静雪), an exceptional calligrapher herself.

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Somehow I was the only student at their school in the dream and I was practicing the letter 超 meaning exceed, beyond, surpass or over ….

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In that dream, they didn’t say anything but just kept staring at me.

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Now I wonder what this dream implies …

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Does the couple who loved me as if I were one of their granddaughters want me to go beyond something?

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Do they want me to obtain more skill and reach a higher and more sophisticated level as a calligrapher?

 

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Something is missing

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I tried to create a new version of “calligraphy on simple postcards”, this time combining letters used in modern days and my favorite, ancient letters.

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However, the results don’t look good enough and I wondered how and where I did wrong and found out there was way too little blank space.

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Now, I am determined to try to make better works; for three reasons,

(1) I love any kind of combination,

(2) ancient letters naturally are closer to “pictures”, origin of letters and

(3) these small simple works of art may realize the ideal “Joy of calligraphy in daily lives” held out by my first calligraphy teacher the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道).

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Autumn butterflies

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Even when they land somewhere/

Autumn butterflies/

Keep moving their wings up and down/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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I wasn’t sure whether these were butterflies or moths, though.

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Here again, I chose the letter for “autumn” in the uncommon form.  In short, I like the letter written in this vertically reversed structure.

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YouTube video “water” “stream”

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I posted a new video on my YouTube channel that I newly set up.

Check this and enjoy my calligraphy!

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For, like the last one, this one shows how letters are being born out of ink, a brush, paper and an artist’s arm.

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This brilliant device will certainly show you the essence of calligraphy.

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This phrase is made up of two characters “water” and “stream”.

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A very important, dear friend of mine from Poznań, Poland praised the movement of my arm likening it to something flowing on the stream of water right after my calligraphy performance in the opening of the exhibition, TRZY RZEKI 2017 KYOTO POZNAN https://wp.me/P2EZhA-2dn.

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She said the movement of my arm was so smooth and elegant that it looked like something quietly flowing on a stream of water, however, I did not know exactly how I could respond to her comment and to my regret, I just mumbled some meaningless words in my mouth.

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After returning to Kyoto, I reported this little story to my present calligraphy teacher, and she what said was “You should have just said ‘Thank you very much’, because comparing your arm movement to water streams or something dancing in the air is THE compliments of highest grade!”

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Flying dragon

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The photo shows one corner of the exhibition, TRZY RZEKI 2017 KYOTO POZNAN, held in Poznań, Poland in November 2017.

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Because both my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) and my mother were born in the year of the dragon, one of the twelve old Chinese zodiac signs, the letter dragon (龍) is my favorite.  Here I added another letter “flying” (飛) to the letter “dragon”.

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Looking back at the event, now I think I may have been turning to those two people closest to me at the unconscious level, trying to win their support for the success of this exhibition, a very important occasion in my career as a calligrapher.

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Since then, I have been more than grateful for having opportunities to perform calligraphy demonstration a couple of times while I stayed in the city of Poznań.

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Refreshing autumn breeze

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It is a passage from a poem of ancient China that expresses the scene of the autumn found everywhere and a cool, pleasant breeze is blowing all around.

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And the line goes on to say it is just like the moment of your obtaining enlightenment or spiritual transcendence.

 

That is, just like the clear fall sky, your future prospect on life will take shape at a breath.

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And here again, I chose the letter, autumn, in the vertically reversed form.

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YouTube channel

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I added a new video on my YouTube channel that I newly set up.

Check this and enjoy my calligraphy!

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For, this one shows how letters are being born out of ink, a brush, paper and an artist’s arm.

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This brilliant device will certainly show you the essence of calligraphy.

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Here is a brief passage from an ancient Chinese poem that expresses a woman’s beauty.

“When smiling, she is a flower close to your eyes.”

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Truth

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What is truth?

Truth is what?

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The photo shows “Truth” by my first calligraphy teacher, the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo (秋山公道) who was a distinguished calligrapher.

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I wonder what he intended to express.

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I have been wondering whether people’s speech exactly reflect their minds or the opposite.

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Come to think of it, this “wondering” of mine is not something new at all.

I have been wondering in this way as long as I remember.

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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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