A pleasant autumn Sunday, neither cold nor hot. Once again, the calligraphy workshop in Japanse winkel Batsu was fully booked. Thank you very much for your participation.

When Sachiko-san and I started the calligraphy workshop, it was difficult to find participants, but now, thankfully, the workshop is booked up before it is advertised.

It is the result of Sachiko-san’s daily devotion to her calligraphy and the trust she has built with her customers. We are really grateful and happy♪

This was the second or third time some of the participants had attended the workshop, and there were also Japanese … Mrs T, who has recently moved to the Netherlands, has a lot of experience in calligraphy. She wanted to attend a workshop in the Netherlands rather than a ‘calligraphy workshop’. She seemed to really enjoy chatting with the people around her and we are glad she enjoyed it……♪♪

As usual, everyone listens intently to my poor explanations in Dutch about tools and posture. Every time, my back is straightened and my spirit is tightened.

I try to give them as much information as I can in the time I have, while enjoying each and every one of them. Time passes with the occasional burst of laughter.

The three-hour workshop you will have time to sumi-suri(make ink with inkstick). We are glad that you can actually feel the time for sumi-suri, which is important for concentrating.

As the ink is made and the good smell emits, the chatter naturally disappears and it becomes quiet.

It is a wonderful time.

Practice horizontal and vertical lines with a large brush and ink,
Then write each stroke in the stroke order of the word.

“Conveying what you see to your arm” is more difficult than imagined. While struggling to get the brush to move as expected, each individual’s unique lines lined up on the paper.

Some can do it straight away and gradually fall apart, others can’t do it at first but gradually improve. Each person has to clear the difficulties at his or her own time, and refine his or her senses. How can it not be fun?

In the Waran Mizukukikai, names are first learnt in hiragana. In Japan, there is a basic rule that “foreign words are written in katakana”, and katakana is used for names of foreign people. But the opinion of the first students, “hiragana is nicer”, has remained unchanged to the present day. I also feel that hiragana is better than katakana when it is lined up next to kanji (the main characters). Katakana is cute too, but it looks like a symbol to me (laughs).

Even if the characters are unreadable, as they are written over and over again, ‘the character’ becomes ‘the person’s name’.

These are the moments when ‘feelings’ really do have power.

Again we learnt ‘Isshin’.

The characters are simple with few strokes, but they are difficult enough and also meaningful.

The well-rounded shapes and strong lines of the experts are of course beautiful, but serious lines of the beginners are also really beautiful, and it is always very difficult to choose.

Still, I take it seriously and choose each ‘good piece’, just as my teacher used to do for me.

This moment make me nervous but also intrrensting.

This time we spent a lot of time practising the lines, so each person corrected their work once.

Everyone used their tired concentration to the full and finished a wonderful “Isshin” with a ‘one heart’ focus.

Each of them, while looking at and talking about their work, decides on the best work and gives the ‘mizukuki’ stamp of approval.

The best work in “this day”, a “time that will never come again”.

The works lined up were all unique, proud and beautiful.

Above all, everyone’s smiles were wonderful.

Everyone cleaned up neatly afterwards, and when I said, “Thank you,” they said, “‘Isshin’, right?” They replied.

Sachiko-san is surrounded by really nice people.

Once again, thank you very much, Sachiko-san and all those who attended.

We look forward to working with you again!

Next time next year…?

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