Thursday, September 23, 2010
more japanese culture
I had another one of my Japanese Culture classes last night. This time we learned about traditional calligraphy. We learned how to make the ink, sit properly, breathe properly and hold the brush. I am super un-artistic so this was a challenge for me. I felt awkward - but was pleased with my results. At first it was super stressful, but then I got all zen and felt good doing it. Be the brush. But it was cool to find out there are over 10,000 characters that mean different things based on how you draw it. There are 3 ways to end a character drawing; a stop, leap, and sweep. So even though 2 characters could look almost identical - you can tell the difference by the way the lines end. It was interesting (also hard to explain on this blog).
Anyway, we learned our Kanji names and meanings. Mine means wisdom holder of the house. Sounds about right :-) But even the Japanese people thought the first character was really hard to draw - so they changed it a bit. Apparently - your name is spelled with characters that make your sound. Since the Japanese do not have a sound for "L" (seriously - it's not just a stereotype - they really don't have the sound in their language) so "R" is the closest to it. So my characters were Kar and Ree. But the Kar character was really hard - so the changed it to the "Harr" character - which when paired with "ree" changes it to sound like "Kar-ree" not "Harr-ree". It was a bit easier to draw - but made me raugh-out-roud (LOL) because it sounded like Hairy Kairy when they joked about it.
We also were given the opportunity to learn how to write a word or saying and create it onto some really nice, expensive paper. I was super nervous for this, but luckily my phrase was pretty easy to write. It means "Be now", as in live in the moment. I love it! I also had to write my name down the side too...but I was proud of the way it turned out. We are going to frame it and put it in the hallway :-) My first Japanese treasure!