It is already February and I am going to look back at the events of 2023 and write about some of my ambitions for 2024.

Every month we send our calligraphy to Nihon Shuji Gakkai for a competition , and a particularly well-crafted work is photographed in the magazine.

In 2023, two people from the Waran Mizukukikukai were selected.

Lichih-san is Taiwanese, so she is familiar with Chinese characters, but she started learning Kana at the Mizukiki-kai … presumably. Silvia-san must not have written Kanji or Kana before she started calligraphy. They both finished their work beautifully.

Emile-san was also pictured with Kana in ’23. My mentor was happy they were all chosen under ‘Kana’ (her speciality is Kana-style (laughs)).

Since April, we started the Wednesday morning class.

Two prospective members invited their friends and another one contacted us, so we started with four people. It was the first time since the beginning of Mizukiki-kai that we all started at the same time. We all follow the same example, so it’s stimulating in a good way.

Unfortunately, one person had to leave the group due to health problems. It is very unfortunate that someone cannot continue because of health problems.

One person has moved from another class, and the Wednesday class still has four students. I am more encouraged by them enthusiasm for learn.

Three more people joined In September, one of whom is Japanese and has a lot of calligraphy experience. She has just resumed learning kana calligraphy in Japan. Clearly, she is learning the old brush strokes. The calligraphy for Nihon Shuji Gakkai’s Haiku assignment is a little big. Though she was a bit confused, she wrote beautiful calligraphy. Above all, I am very happy to be able to speak Japanese.♪♪♪

The other two are beginners, but are progressing fast. It is always a pleasure to watch their hands gradually become more comfortable with the brush.

Besides the regular workshop at the Japanese shop’ Batsu, I also did a travelling workshop for the first time at the request of a local visitor.

The client was ASICS, a sporting goods brand. The request was for a recreation with the intention of raising employee awareness. Since the company is headquartered in Japan, the request was for “something with a sense of Japanese culture”.

In a clean and open meeting room, we spent an hour and a half learning everyone’s name and the character for ‘heart’.

20 young people aged around 20~30. I was worried they would get bored with the stroke-by-stroke instruction. But they sat two by two, chatted a bit, but took it seriously. I was reminded that calligraphy is a common language that can be practised irrespective of age, gender or nationality. After choosing a finished work together and stamping “Mizukuki”, everyone left with big smiles on their faces.

I think the workshop was a success, thanks to everyone’s great cooperation and cheerful listening to my flawed English instruction.

A couple who gave their child a Japanese name asked me for calligraphy to decorate their child’s room.

We exchanged design discussions via email and put the Chinese characters of his name in the Zen circle, the alphabet underneath and his birth date on the side. It was the first time I seriously wrote a Zen circle and there was a good learning experience. I was very happy when they sent me the characters in them room and a beautiful picture of them child in mothers arms… (I won’t put it here (laughs)).

I received a request for the characters for a tattoo. He had been looking for a Japanese tattoo for a long time and finally got his way. So he asked me to make the characters instead of using free material on the internet. I accepted the request to see how far I could go in a short time and for my own experience. But in the end, I put a lot of time into it (laughs). I couldn’t give it to them in an easy way if I saw it as ‘a character engraved on someone’s body’. So I decided not to take on any more ‘short-term’ projects in the future.

We participate in the Kakizome-Exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum every February. The works are usually finished and sent in early January, taking into account the shipping situation.

Friday afternoon group
Friday night group

When the Waran Mizukuki-kai first participated in the Kakizome exhibition, there were three exhibitors who all wrote four characters in block style. This year, however, 10 people participated in the exhibition. There are works of four or five characters in block, semi crusive and cursive style. The individuality of each individual can be seen in the characters they choose, and the final product is also different. The aim of the kakizome ( New Year calligraphy ) exhibition is to have a little more freedom and ‘fun’ than the usual calligraphy competition. They write with great energy and ‘cool

Wednesday group

I think a lot of them could spontaneously write in big letters this time.

It’s not primarily about the competition, but it would be nice to win some kind of prize …

With Tuesday group

Nihon Shuji gakkai has two level units, the first being ‘Kyu’ and the second ‘Dan’. Every month, we sent a piece of calligraphy to Japan to compete for and the ‘Kyu’ level is raised.
The highest rank is 1st-kyu, and beginning is 10th-kyu.
After that, students take Dan-exams twice a year to raise their Dan level. Dan ranks start at Shodan (1st-Dan) and end at 9th Dan.

People with a certain amount of experience with Shodo are taking exams for their Dan. Currently they are in the middle of the Dan-exams in March. Those who took the 3th-dan exams are the highest Dan level in the Mizukuki-kai. They are busy studying alongside their monthly calligraphy, but everyone is serious because it is a chance to test their skills. When the exams start, sometimes we are too busy to study, but we encourage each other and get on with it.

I think that’s the good of having colleagues when I felt the same way at the time. I still keep in touch with my ‘colleagues’ in Japan.

The exam is almost over… I wish you all the best!

2024 marks the 10th of the Waran Mizukukai’s inception.

We are not ready for it yet, but we would like to do something to celebrate.

I am preparing to introduce calligraphy at a Manga event at the Facets cultural centre in Emmen in March. I hope to introduce calligraphy in a good way, without being too cheap or pretentious.

A workshop is planned in April at Japanese shop’ Batsu. This time, Sachiko-san and I will consult to make the characters spring-inspired.

I also have several other assignments for calligraphic work, so I will work on my own handwriting a bit more, while training my old style handwriting.

I’m thinking of opening another class if enough people want it… but that may happen slowly….

It’s still as relaxed as ever.

We hope to continue growing and having fun with everyone in 2024.

We look forward to working with you again this year.

error: Content is protected !!