Easter in Japan(ese)

Happy Easter everyone!

You might wonder, Easter in Japan? Well strictly speaking it isn’t a holiday like it is in the West. But yah, why not… Easter. A good opportunity to sell over the top kawai-ness. Easter themed sweets and chocolates find their way in to Japanese shops. And to be honest… who can resist them?

The word for Easter is fukkatsusai 復活祭. 3 kanji compound word. ‘Restore live celebration’… the return to light and life, so to speak. In this video I demonstrate how to write the kanji in pensel.

復 restore, return to, revert, resume

Kunyomi:また

Onyomi:フク

Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 5

JLPT level N2

 

活 lively, resuscitation, being helped, living

Kunyomi: い.きる、 い.かす、 い.ける

Onyomi:カツ

Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 2

JLPT level N3

 

祭 ritual, offer prayers, celebrate, deify, enshrine, worship

Kunyomi:まつ.る、 まつ.り、 まつり

Onyomi:サイ

Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 3
JLPT level N2

 

Sources:

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Working on a gift… kanji for cat

 

No today is not ‘Cats’ Day’. Really,… I’m sure that is on the 22nd of February. You didn’t know that right? Japan has a National Cat Day. Isn’t that great!?!

On a more serious note, I would like to introduce the kanji for ‘cat’. The cat can count on some special attention from humans in Japan. Not only is this noticeable during Cats’ Day. Cats are present throughout Japanese culture. They are everywhere. You can even find ‘maneki neko‘ waving at you in a shop window. Cats are believed to be bringers of good fortune.

Many of my friends would agree. Though I’m not an out spoken cat lover myself, many people I know hold a special place in their hearts for this sassy 4, sometimes 3, legged creature. It is for one of those cat loving friends, I made this calligraphy.

First I got to know the kanji by practicing it relentlesly in kaisho. But I don’t really like kaisho that much. I think as an artistic expression… well it has no flow. To be honest, I feel my kaisho is like ‘ki getting stuck’ like a bad sinus congestions. It needs more practice for sure.

Kanji for cat in kaisho

After my kaisho session, I found a really pretty example sōsho, grass script. So I tried to copy the example a few times. It just flowed and I was content with the result.

Cat in sosho

But just a kanji character as a gift is a bit boring. Don’t you think? Sometime ago I was flipping through Pinterest and found this really simplistic but appealing 1 calligraphy stroke graphic of a cat. I kept thinking about the graphic, for sure I had to try it myself. So this was exactly the right time to give it a go. The final result was pretty okay for a first attempt.

How do you think it turned out?

stroke cat

Information for the kanji 猫

Kunyomi = ねこ (neko)
Onyomi = ビョウ (byou)
The kanji has 11 strokes 画. Radical is dog (or animal radical) 犬 = 犭Composed of 3 parts: 犬、艾、田 

Jōyō kanji, taught in junior high

JLPT level N3

Sources:

Sakura (spring kanji series)

I can’t wait for spring… genuine spring. You know, when you can really feel, see and smell it. The sun shining on your winter pale face, you can feel its warmth filling you with joy.

In anticipation for my favorite season, I started a series of weekly kanji inspirations. Of course the first kanji had to be spring (春 haru). The second was the kanji for wood or tree (木 ki). Wood energy is the energy of spring in the Chinese 5 elements theory. So this one nicely fitted in to the spring theme kanji inspiration series. You can watch both kanji on my YouTube channel.

The third kanji, coming hanami season (the watching of ‘cherry blossom’ flowering), is of course sakura 桜. I was stunned by the difficulty I had writing this kanji in kaishō. Somehow I didn’t get it on the paper as I wanted. Especially the proportion of the right side of the character was problematic. The upper and lower part don’t work so well together. But this is shodō, like in life, things don’t always go the way you want them to. So it was okay. It was good practice.

 

Information for the kanji 桜

Kunyomi = さくら (sakura)

Unyomi = オウ、ヨウ (ou or you)

The kanji has 10 strokes 画. Radical is tree 木. Composed of 3 parts: 女、尚、木

Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 5

JLPT level N1

Sources:

 

Mijn eerste bericht

Toen ik voor mijn studie in Japan woonde (mukashi mukashi), kwam ik in aanraking met Japanse kalligrafie, shodo. Sindsdien ben ik gefascineerd door deze prachtige schrijfkunst. Hoewel ik op- en aan met kalligrafie bezig was de afgelopen 15 jaar, kon ik het nooit echt loslaten. Een onweerstaanbare aantrekkingskracht bleef grip op mij houden. Ik moest en zou met inkt kliederen.

Daarom ben ik dit jaar begonnen met ‘De Witte Peer Kalligrafie’. Een online platform waar ik mijn kalligrafie avonturen deel. Hier kan je kennis en kunde vinden over Japanse kalligrafie. Misschien inspireer ik je wel om zelf het penseel op te pakken.

Binnenkort bied ik ook enkele door mij gemaakte stukken te koop aan. Je kunt mij daarnaast altijd vragen om een ‘custom’ werk. We bespreken samen hoe we jouw eigen spreuk, kanji of sutra kunnen omtoveren tot een prachtige kalligrafie.

Ik ben super blij dat ik de knoop heb doorgehakt. Graag neem ik jullie mee op mijn creatieve reis.

“A journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step.”