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Archive for Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Japanese calligraphy course ascribes beauty to writing

June 27, 2006

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In Japan, it is called shodo, the way of writing. But to Sanae Eda, it is like music.

"What makes it beautiful is having some balance between technique and freedom of expression," said Eda, assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Kansas University.

Eda teaches Japanese calligraphy, the art of writing beautifully.

Eda's current students are area home-schoolers. But later this summer, she plans to extend her class to the public and offer a free course.

A course is planned for late July, though the schedule has not been set.

Sanae Eda, assistant professor of East Asian Languages at Kansas University, gives instruction on proper calligraphy techniques to a class of home-schooled children Wednesday near 15th and Wakarusa Streets. Eda plans to offer a free course to the public, tentatively scheduled for late July.

Sanae Eda, assistant professor of East Asian Languages at Kansas University, gives instruction on proper calligraphy techniques to a class of home-schooled children Wednesday near 15th and Wakarusa Streets. Eda plans to offer a free course to the public, tentatively scheduled for late July.

Eda's students gathered around a table recently for a lesson.

"Focus on the flow of your energy," Eda said as the students practiced on paper.

The art relies on technique. Each stroke goes in a specific order. The direction of the brush is not arbitrary. Even how one uses the free hand is important, Eda said. That hand stabilizes the paper, she said. Left hand and right hand correspond like yin and yang.

But, like music, learning how to play each note isn't enough.

"Just being accurate does not make you a good musician," she said.

That's where personal expression comes in.

"A music performer needs to have energy," Eda said.

Shodo, the style of calligraphy Eda teaches, originated in China. But it also was practiced by Japanese samurai, Eda said, as they trained to be focused and relaxed.

Japanese calligraphy

Erika Hirano, a Kansas University graduate student, demostrates the art of Japanese calligraphy. Enlarge video

And it can have that result.

"You have to concentrate," Juliana Hacker, 10, said while painting the letters on paper. "You can't fool around."

Elora Figgins, 10, said the key is in the hands.

"I have to be really steady," she said.

Eda said she can see personality in each person's calligraphy. When students write large characters, that could be a sign of confidence or self-assurance. A student with small, deliberate strokes might be tidy or organized.

"It's interesting to see those personalities expressed in how they write," she said.

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For information on the upcoming Japanese calligraphy course, contact Randi Hacker, outreach coordinator for KU's Center for East Asian Studies, at 864-3832 or rhacker@ku.edu

Comments

trinity 8 years, 2 months ago

laffin'....staff, i just had to peek over here, DIDN'T i?¿?

you're funny&made me smile! :)

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bankboy119 8 years, 2 months ago

hahaha staff! Way to start the thread.

In his defense, no he doesn't.

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swampmusic 8 years, 2 months ago

In everybody elses defense....Yes he does.

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bankboy119 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh come on swamp, you're telling me you don't enjoy reading the comments sometimes?

Granted Marion and I don't agree on everything, if I said everybody sucked that I didn't agree with on everything then the rest of the posters on here would suck.

So there it is, all the OTS posters, with the exception of perfect ol' me over here, suck.

Sarcasm for those who don't understand jokes

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swampmusic 8 years, 2 months ago

Marion is a "top-thater" nobody likes a "top-thater".In addition he is a really atrocious speller. If one insists on playing the role of a "top-thater' , then one's spelling and diction must be far superior to that of dear old Marion. That's all I'm saying.

Good day.

Swampmusic

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staff04 8 years, 2 months ago

Uh...speaking of sarcasm...

bankboy will have to notice my post of 12:31 on the Yellow Sub story page.

It was a joke.

Marion took it well. Well, we all know that couldn't be true, but nonetheless, it was a joke.

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staff04 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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bankboy119 8 years, 2 months ago

staff I know yours was a completely harmless joke as well...minus the threatened lawsuit.

ljreader, I saw X-Men 3 and I really enjoyed it. Didn't think I was going to but I did. I'd highly recommend it. Also, has everybody seen Just Friends? If not, rent it.

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staff04 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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fi_m 8 years, 1 month ago

What a truly sublime way of expressing how it is to produce masterful calligraphy. Hope the course goes really well for you. Fiona http://calligraphycapers.blogspot.com/

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