One of the new things I got myself hooked on this year is 書道 or Japanese calligraphy. Most of my Japanese friends learned this while they were still young. Had I been born and raised in Japan, I’d also probably grow up a 書道 calligrapher. 🙂
When I learned that one of our Japanese friends, Soma Yoshimoto, was organizing another calligraphy event, I signed up with my friends.
Practicing calligraphy is meditation for me. The moment I hold the brushes, I am taken into a different realm, where the noise around me is hushed, and there is no one but me, my brushes, and my strokes. It helps me clear my mind and it allows me to focus.
Learning the Kanji and Kana
I took an elective Nihonggo subject in college because it’s the foreign language I wanted to master. Practicing calligraphy helps me memorize some of the basic Kanji and Kana (Hiragana and Katakana) that are actually difficult to remember.
Meeting new people
Joining the calligraphy workshop also allowed me to meet new friends who share the same passion for the Japanese culture. I met one of my soul sisters, Peku-chan, in this this workshop. It’s also an opportunity to listen to stories of young people, Filipino and Japanese, who are working hard to study the Japanese and English languages, respectively.
Honestly, I’m not only drawn towards the aesthetics of 書道. There’s always more to it that even I can’t explain for now, but every time I’m holding my brushes and working on the difficult strokes, everything feels natural to me. I get into that state of bliss. Even if I’m still learning how to do it, I get this feeling that I’ve done this calligraphy for a long time already.
It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year!