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Event Album: Calligraphy Workshop: 01/10/2016
Event Note

 There is an old saying in Japan - "Legendary Master Kobo (who was said the best in calligraphy writing) doesn't choose a brush", and that is supposed to mean you shouldn't blame your brush for your poor writing. But as we tried with several large brushes to write on long Washi paper, we concluded the Master Kobo must have chosen the brush. He was, after all, a very famous man and certainly should have been offered the best possible material available at that time. In comparison, the very fine large calligraphy brush our Onuma-san had was some 50 years old and accordingly it was about 70 dollars then. So you can imagine how much it could cost now. It shows Calligraphy, or simply the brush writing, became rather expensive hobby and the writing skill is no longer necessary in modern life in Japan. As a matter of fact, no one, in general I mean, would write letters with brush in these days, or you got to be rich to have the finest tool. So, that means we got to practice harder in order to be able to write well with whatever the brush available and affordable around here. With that tough goal in mind, the eight (8) members who participated today's workshop challenged the first writing of a New Year, Kakizome.

There is another old Japanese saying - "(Even) Master Kobo could make a mistake in writing", and amazingly, there is an English version of it - "Even (good) Homer sometimes nods". If history tells you even those legendary people did make mistakes, no wonder we could do so in Kanji at the last Kakizome. So we decided, probably we could blame our brush after all... As the year of "Monkey" started, I'm hoping, this year we would handle many things intelligently as well as have fun all together as a group, just like fun-loving intelligent monkeys. And we sure enjoyed today's workshop together thinking about who got a good brush.

Midori Shinye
Calligraphy Instructor
 1月10日習字ワークショップNo.1 昔からの諺に「弘法筆を選ばず」とありますが、要するに下手な字を筆のせいにするべきではないということですね。しかし今日は我々の会の書初めということで数本の太筆で長い和紙に書いてみた結果、間違いなく弘法大使は筆を選んだはずだと皆で確証しました。弘法さんは何しろ有名な方でしたからおそらくあの時代で一番良い道具が手に入ったはずです。一方我々の大沼さんが持っていた太筆は聞くところによると50年前に70ドル位したそうで、今だったら相当な値段であろうと想像できます。ということは、書道、つまり字を筆で書くということは日常生活ではもはや常に必要とされるものではなく、高価な趣味のように変わってきているようです。どうやら金持ちでないと優れた道具も手に入らないようで...。ということは、私たちはもっともっと一生懸命練習をしてこの辺で手に入る適当な筆でうまく習字が書けるようにならないといけないということでしょうか。そのような大きな目標を持って今日は8人のメンバーで今年初の習字「書初め」に挑戦しました。 もうひとつの諺に「弘法も筆の誤り」とあります。また英語版でも「あのホメロスでさえも居眠りをすることがある」そうですから、要するにあれだけの達人・英雄でさえもミスを犯すことがあるのであれば、当然のこと私達がこの前の書初めで漢字を間違ったのも無理がないかもしれません。ということは、筆のせいにしてもおかしくない...? 今年の干支「猿」に習って、ぜひ物事に対して賢く対応すると共にまた一方では皆仲間で楽しく一年を過ごしたいと思います。間違いなく今日のワークショップは誰が一体いい筆をもっているだろうと皆で考えながら楽しみました。
新江 緑 書道インストラクター
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