Looking at my blog I realize I completely forgot to write about this. Since moving to Japan I’ve considered learning calligraphy. The movement in the strokes is so beautiful and I assume it’s a relaxing hobby. I even went as far as look into calligraphy courses, but, like everything in Japan, they’re expensive. I realized it wasn’t worth all the money to learn absolutely stunning Japanese calligraphy when I have no-one that I can write to! I think my money would be better spent on an English calligraphy course.
Anyway, after the summer break I noticed the elementary school students do calligraphy. It became my goal to sit in on a class with them. Now, if only I could figure out who the heck was teaching the calligraphy.
My last day of class before the break (Thursday December 21, to be exact), I casually walked into the teachers room at the start of my planning period. The vice principal immediately asked if I wanted to try calligraphy. I asked if there was a class writing now, and we went on a hunt. We found the sixth grade class (with the hot teacher no less) writing calligraphy. She asked if I could join them and asked if I felt confident attempting the sixth grade calligraphy. I requested something easier. She briefly left and returned with the easy fourth grade calligraphy, which still looked difficult to me.
She kindly asked the teacher if there were enough materials for me to have a work space. Sensei already prepared an area at the front of the classroom. The vice principal was giddy and informed the students and Sensei this was my first time. Whether the students stared on or returned to their own calligraphy I can’t tell you.
The vice principal guided me through every stroke. I had three chances to write the phrase 美しい空, which translates to beautiful sky. With every attempt the vice principal proudly showed the students and Sensei my calligraphy. She was like a proud parent. I really enjoyed calligraphy and I would love to opportunity to write again.
The principal later approached me asking me about my calligraphy experience and insisted I show him my final result. He praised my writing. I still haven’t mastered the Japanese way of humbling oneself, unless people are praising me on my Japanese language skills. All I could do was repeatedly thank him for his kind compliments.