Sakura Sakura my Cherry Blossoms

Hi everyone,

I hope you are well and enjoying the spring breeze.

– Have you already seen your first cherry blossom of the year ?!

In March I’ve given a Shodo workshop with the theme word YOZAKURA 夜桜 – Cherry blossom at night.
We’ve practised YOZAKURA in two styles – Kaisho (block) and Gyosho (semi-cursive).
I was very impressed by the mindfulness process of all participants.

©RIE TAKEDA

About Sakura, cherry blossom

Sakura cherry blossoms are without a doubt the most loved flowers in Japan.

As many know, cherry blossoms have a very short life in high spring time like in March and April.

As Sakuras are in full colour full bloom, might stay for a week or two – however a strong spring wind can instantly blow all blossoms away within a moment. 

One night, Sakura is presenting its height of beauty, the next morning the pinky blossom could be all gone. One could absolutely never tell how long the breathtaking Sakura reminds in a full bloom.

Therefore the Japanese see and reflect the impermanent beauty as their own life circle.

And they see the whole transformation of Sakura as beauty – even it is withered just like their life-circle.
That’s why they gather and celebrate the arrival and the momentum beauty of the spring under the Sakura trees, called HANAMI Sakura viewing. Capturing the momentum of beauty and appreciating the present moment. 

Like this Sakura also strongly presents the Ukiyo ’floating world’ as well as the Wabi-Sabi philosophy, the quintessential Japanese aesthetic which is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. 

In my sessions/workshops, I encourage my students to envisage the feel of these Sakura elements specially the Wabi-Sabi aspect – so impermanent and sentiment and to bring the input into the movement as they do the Seisho at the end.
(Seisho is the calligraphy with clear mind done at the final stage of Shodo practice)

Here are some Sakura inspired Haikus.

*Sakura, sakura
they fall in the dreams
of sleeping beauty
/ Yosa Buson (1716-1784)

*Scatter layer by layer,
eight-layered
cherry blossoms
/ Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)



*Cherry blossom petals
blown by the spring breeze against
the undried wall
/ Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

*A lovely spring night
suddenly vanished
while we viewed cherry blossoms
/ Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

*Photos by Jake Rajs

Moreover, I share one of my Painted Poem series.
As you can imagine I’ve painted several Sakura works in the past 20 years!

藍桜   SAKURA IN INDIGO

さくら 
さくら 
私のさくら

桃色夜桜は
今夜のごちそう

Sakura sakura, my sakura

The pink cherry blossom is

Tonight’s beautiful treat.

藍桜  SAKURA IN INDIGO

Sumi ink and Gouache on handmade paper, 70x100cm

2010 ©RIE TAKEDA

For now
Let’s enjoy every moment of this sunny spring….

Stay safe and inspired.

HAPPY PRACTICE!

ARIGATO – Rie

shodo mindfulness method
http://www.shodocalligraphy.com

Workshop with KINTSUGI, Golden Repair

Hi everyone,
I hope you are all fit and inspired.
I’ve planned five online-live-workshops with a different theme this year in addition to the beginner’s workshop.
The next one is on Sunday the 21st. February. The theme is called KINTSUGI.


ABOUT KINTSUGI
“Golden Trace”
It’s a gilded new beginning. “Kintsugi 金継ぎ” comes from Japan and means “golden repair”.  It is also called Kintsukuroi (金繕い), literally Kin is gold and Tsugi is repair or joinery. When a precious bowl, plate or vase falls and breaks into pieces, it is put back together. Not without visible cracks, that would be impossible.
Every break is unique and instead of repairing the broken bowl like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the break -“scars” as a part of the design. The break surfaces are not only patched up with special lacquer varnish, but also with gold dust. The breaks look particularly precious, the whole ceramic piece is new and different, it shines even. Every restored parts shows: I am broken in different places. I’ve survived a lot. It took time and effort to become whole again, to be able to be filled again. But that’s exactly what makes me unique.
We could see the Kintsugi as a metaphor for healing ourselves and it teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful, resilient and more valuable.
This is the transformative repair.
Kintsugi – it can encourage us to start a new search – for golden traces.

Kintsugi white satsuma ware Edo 17th century

SHODO Workshop for all level : Live and interactive
Connect your body and mind, experience your inner calmness

○Date : Sunday 21. February 2021
Theme:  KINTSUGI 金継ぎ/ Golden Repair 
We learn and practise the themed word in two calligraphy styles ( Kaisho/Block and Gyosho/Semi-cursive styles)
LINK: https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/shodo-online-live-themed-workshop.html

○Time : Sunday 15.00-17.00 (UTC+0/UK time) with a tea break
○Fee : £38 / € 38 / $43

○Platform : Live Zoom / Interactive workshop
○Number of participants : limited only / Max.7

○This workshop includes : 
・My original Shodo Templates
-mindfulness-based basic brush movements
-themed exercise template in two styles ( Kaisho/block and Gyosho/semi-cursive)

・Correction and feedback
・Individual name and stamp templates
・Access to the recording 
・Access to the limited videos
○You can see the package example below⬇️
○Utensils & materials : you will get the list with info and the video links prior to the session, please prepare the basics by yourself. *The basics are : a brush, ink stone (preferably natural stone), ink stick, ink liquid, paper.
You can see the image below.⬇️
I’ll be showing and teaching with my tree-camera-set up. 1st screen for the body posture and communication/ 2nd screen for the over head / whole composition / 3rd camera for the close-up/ detailed brush movement
Check your time zone here : What time is it in my zone
After attending the beginner’s workshop, you could move on to themed workshops or continuous course.
▶︎BOOK FROM THE LINK: https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/shodo-online-live-themed-workshop.html

Further dates in 2021 ; Themed Workshops
Sunday : 15.00 -17.00 (GMT/UK time) 
We learn and practise the themed word in two calligraphy styles ( sometimes three styles)
21. February / KINTSUGI 金継ぎ: Golden repair
14. March / YOZAKURA 夜桜: Night Cherry Blossom     
02. May  / SHICHI-TEN-HA-KKI 七転八起 : Seven tumbles, eight stand ups 
13. June  / IKIGAI 生き甲斐 : The sparks of life
11. July / BOKUGYU 牧牛: The taming of the ox (zen)
Summer break

MORE INFO, PLEASE VISIT THE SHODO SITE
ttps://www.shodocalligraphy.com/shodo-online-live-themed-workshop.html

Happy Practice!
Rie

The year of the Ox + KAKIZOME

Happy New Year of the Ox 2021!
I hope you all had a relaxing holiday!

Ox in Gyosho

My year has started with the Kakizome event on the 2nd. Jan.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event.
It was great fun!
And I was very happy to see you all and share the Kakizome experience together.

A few days later, I did the ‘Kakizome on snow’ with my daughter!
I share some snaps with you too!
ARIGATO.

ABOUT KAKIZOME
The New Year’s Calligraphy called “Kakizome 書き初め” in Japanese. It is translated to the first calligraphy of the year, literally means ‘first writing’. That’s when the new zodiac character, one year’s aspirations, auspicious words in Kanji characters and the individual wishes, resolutions, theme for the new year are Calligraphy-ied at the beginning of the year on the 2nd of January.
KAKI 書き: writing, to write
ZOIME初め: first, to start, the beginning

Origin of Kakizome
The original “Kakizome” was celebrated as a court event since the Heian period. (794-1185) It was then called „Kisshohajime吉書始め“ which literally means first auspicious writing. The process of ceremony began from creating dissolving Sumi ink with using the WAKAMIZU 若水 the first sacred water drawn from the well in the morning on the first day of the year.
Then the celebrations and poems were written facing a fortune direction of the year (where the god of that year was supposed to be). This custom kept alive for the next several hundred years and it widely spread and became popular among common people in the Edo period after the temple school houses (寺小屋)were established. In the Meiji period, the Kakizome was introduced also in schools. The process of Kakizome has changed and a different way was adapted from the one at the court in the Heian era.

Ox in Kaisho

Purpose of Kakizome custom
Traditionally there are three points why Kakizome was celebrated.

1.Transforming one’s wishes, goals, aspirations into hand-written words

and intending to achieve these aspirations by calligraphy-ing on paper at the beginning of the year.

2.Showing the gratefulness and joy

3.Dedicating the calligraphy to the gods so one’s calligraphy skill could be improved

The Kakizome calligraphy works are burned at the ‘Dondo-Yaki’ festival,
which is a traditional event in Japan held around January 15th. People build a tower with green bamboo, cedar, straw and reeds in an open area such as the grounds of a temple, a riverbed, rice field or other crop field and burn New Year decorations and Kakizome. It is believed that your handwriting skill will improve and you will grow wiser if your Kakizome burns and soars up high into the sky. The higher the paper soot soars up, the better the calligraphy skills become. No worries, you don’t have to burn the calligraphy piece!

The Japanese are vigilant about “firsts“at the beginning of the New Year.
There are lots of “firsts”.
The first sunrise (hatsuhinode), the first visit to the shrine or temple (hatsumoude), and the first dream (hatsuyume), are among the essential “firsts” in Japan.

In addition to Kakizome celebration, I also tend to welcome a new brush and a new Sumi stick at the new year, a day before the Kakizome  day on the 2nd January or on the Kakizome day. The first one is called Fudeoroshi: first use of a new brush and the latter is Sumioroshi : first use of a new Sumi.
I love doing those ceremonial input often at midnight or early morning on the first day of the year. It is such a precious moment – very meditating and mindful.

Picture of the Fudeoroshi from this year
Picture of the Fudeoroshi, soaking the hair parts in the water

Like every year this year could be more than the previous year – I’ve enjoyed the absolute quietness on the first day and I’ve mindfully welcomed my brush, Sumi ink and the year of the ox. Hoping that I will be beautifully able to tame them throughout the year.

Thank you for reading.
Have a good start of the year.

Happy Practice!

Rie

*Here I share some video links with you.
You can see the Ox in different styles below.

Ox in Sosho


Kakizome on snow _ Ox in Hiragana

Kakizome on snow

Video Ox in Kaisho style

Video Ox in Gyosho Style

Video Ox in Sosho sytle


ARIGATO
HAPPY PRACTICE!

©RIE TAKEDA
http://www.shodocalligraphy.com

Merry Christmas in Action

I hope you are all well and fit – enjoying the holidays right now.
– I’d like to thank you for your support, compassion and inspiration. THANK YOU!
It’s been a challenging intense year for all and also for me as a freelance artist/calligrapher.
I am very glad that I managed to finalize my SHODO-Online program this summer and I’ve been developing the context and the structure as an ongoing project. As the way of my mindfulness based method is quite unique, it needed a long time and much effort – but I will keep working at IT, and making IT more interactive and effective. Here is my little Christmas greeting video for you! See the youtube channel link below.

And- still –
I am happy to be here and now – again.

I wish you all …
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

+

Happy Practice!
Rie

If you are interested in Kakizome, the new years’s calligraphy event on the 2nd January 2021(15.00 GMT /UK time), you are more than welcome to join in. More details, please have a look at the link below.
https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/kakizome-calligraphy.html

みなさん、今年もお世話になりました。心あるサポート、応援とたくさんの閃きをどうもありがとうございました。
大変な一年になりましたが、この機会に自分が本気で続けられるプロジェクト、本気で実現したいアイディアを見極める時間になったことはすでに大切な実りです。オンラインの書道講習や他のオンラインベースのプロジェクトもありがたいことにいい方向で進んでいます。今後も皆様のアドバイスやフィードバックを参考に、アーティスト活動、書道教室を持続していきますので、どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。素敵なクリスマスをお過ごしくださいね!

Arigato!

http://www.shodocalligraphy.com

Autumn course for beginners 2020

Hi everyone!
I hope you are well and inspired.
As you might’ve seen I’ve been very busy with online events and creating new works during the summer time.
Finally I am happy to inform you about the new autumn course for beginners.
It is one of my new Shodo-Online programs.

Online-Live : Autumn course for beginners :

○Date : 13.Oct / 27.Oct / 10.Nov / 24.Nov / 08.Dec 
○Time : Tuesday 19.00-20.30 (UK time/GMT)

○Course : 5 Sessions x 90 min 
○Fee : £170 / $200  (or £35 / $42 per session)
○Inclusive original PDF Templates / Texts / correction / individual name and stamp templates
   / access to the video recording (1 week)/ access to the limited videos

*Utensils & materials : you will get the list and info video link prior to the session,
please prepare the basics by yourself.

☑️To book, please visit my Shodo website and proceed the payment and you will receive the confirmation, additional info, link and the file.

Link : https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/online-course.html

📍Online-Live : Workshops for beginners
– Sunday, 25. October
– Sunday, 29. November
See the time table and the details from the link.
▶︎Link : https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/online-workshop.html

📍Online-Private Session (1:1 Tutoring)
See the time table and the details from the link.
▶︎Link : https://www.shodocalligraphy.com/private-session-online.html

Happy Practice!
Rie






www.shodocalligraphy.com
@neojaponismatelier