My very late kakizome 2020

For the first calligraphy of the year (kakizome), I choose the kanji for winter. Well, … actually because the lack thereof. Though it is January, we didn’t see any frost worth mentioning yet. Snow? I forgot what it looks like.

Fuyu (winter)

And just as this years winter, my kakizome didn’t came out with a blazing start. Au contraire, it was a painful but valuable lesson not to neglect the basic stroke practice of shodō. I must admit I haven’t been practicing much of late, but when I did, my focus was on the fancy stuff. And certainly not the painstaking and boring kaishō. Deuh…

But wait… is this not exactly like the concepts of kiso, kata, kumite from karate? The theory of karate which my sensei so relentlessly repeated to make me understand karate for real. And though I’m not able to practice karate physically at the moment, my mind is still primed with it’s foundational theoretical basis. Then it hit me in the face *SLAP*.

Kaishō is the kata of shodō silly!!! Gyoshō is kumite, learning to apply techniques. And of course Soshō is the application in which the student transcends the teaching material.

I first felt frustrated about my childlike attempt for this ‘stupid’ so called easy kaishō kanji. But the insight it gave me, wakened a new and fresh determination for practicing kaishō and the basic techniques it teaches to further progress my shodō. What a marvelous start of this year!