‘The word ikigai is formed of two Japanese characters: iki, meaning life, and gai, meaning value or worth. Ikigai, then, is the value of life, or happiness in life. Put simply, it’s the reason you get up in the morning.’
I would always recommend you all to learn Shodo with a qualified calligraphy teacher. Even if each teacher has a different way of teaching, it is far better than learning at home alone with books and a youtube channel.
If you haven’t got any teacher near by, it is worth finding a good teacher and travel to learn the techniques every few months preferably.
The calligraphy books and the youtube channel are only supplying extra information to compare and provide possible input into your learning process.
I find it is a pity and heart breaking when an enthusiastic person tries to learn Shodo for a while by oneself – and sadly all what he/she did was just wrong movement.
One can not learn the art of Shodo by your self at all. You could maintenance it once you buid a solid foundation but not start it from scratch just like other Do-Art (Judo, Karatedo, Sado, Kado..). It is not possible because one needs to see the hands on guidance and practise it together in a specific process to complete the stage.
The way of doing basic techniques you learned from your teacher should always remain the same. Otherwise it would become terribly confusing if you pick up other ways of doing a particular technique.
I have some students around Europe who come and learn in some intensitive private sessions or workshops a few times a year. (at least once a year) They are from all levels like beginners to the master class and have various backgrounds and professions. Surprisingly they all keep up their skills and keep brushing up new techniques everytime I see them.
I am more and more convinced that my original method is working for many – including some Japanese students young to senior.
And I am constantly discovering new elements in the art of Shodo as well as the way of teaching.
These are from one of my distance learners, Marco-san in the U.K. – Seishos are corrected and feedback is given.
If you live in Germany, France or Switzerland- U.K., Europe, you are always welcome to learn through my method and later you could continue your practice by distance learning.
I hope you are enjoying these hot sunny days! Are you brushing up your calligraphy skills?! Or doing more stroke-practice?!
Before the summer holiday ends, I would like to post an Otehon for the month of August.
The summery text you can not avoid ….
“Aka-i-kin-gyo (Jap) ~ Red goldfish”
*Kingyo: Goldfish (Kin; Gold +Gyo; Fish)
*4 Kanjis and 1 Hiragana
Please check all balance lines, composition frames and some tips above.
Each Kanji have more less a clear middle line. Always start with a clear angle and check which brush technique should be applied.(side or direct brushings)
Recommended brush size is the medium to the big. Both hard or soft haired are suitable for this text.
I post the Otehon text which has the technique of SHINNYO”. It is not an easy technique to practise, but a very important one to learn in the art of Shodo and in the Do-Art.
This Otehon text is prepared for the beginners who already practised some Kanji texts and for the first time to practise “Do-Michi-道”
Yama Michi”- can be read as San Do”.
: Mountain path
*Michi~ The way, the path
-Big or medium size brush, both hard or soft.
-山: A combination of the side and the direct brushing techniques. A very strong corner technique. The dominant middlebalance. Rather thick and big.
– 道:1 x rectangular box + 1x”L” shaped composition. The key practice is a long flat MIGI HARAI(RIGHT SLUDE-OUT) in the Shinnyou radical. Always keep the brush upright. Concentrate on lifting the Qi energy up through your belly button. The extra “S” movement practice can be very effective.
-“SHINNYOU” in Michi/Do is one of the essential techniques in Shodo. Always ask your teacher again and again till you get the right brush movement and understand the correct energy shifting in this technique.
Sunday, 13. November : Theme ” Frosty night”
Sunday, 04. December : Theme “Winter & for Christmas cards”
I am going to start special Shodo calligraphy workshops in Freiburg from October 2016. I plan to give 10/11 workshops throughout a year till 2017 summer. Each month there will a particular theme for calligraphy texts, and specific calligraphy styles to practise. That would be a perfect opportunity to try out Shodo Japanese calligraphy and for Shodo learners to practise regularly.
Experience in Japanese calligraphy is not necessary. Each participant from beginner to advanced level can discover and experience the essence of Shodo the art of Japanese calligraphy. The Participants can learn to focus on bringing the balance of mind and body together as well as a one’s individual mindfulness process by special designed practices. So students can learn little by little how to concentrate on their own Qi flow, conduct and apply it with brush and ink onto paper.
! Further dates in 2017: 22.Jan. / 19.Feb. /19. March / 9. April / 21.May / 25.June / 16.July ♧ Time: 13:00 to 16:00 (with a tea break) ♧ Fee: 45,-Euro (Student: 42,-Euro) per afternoon ♧ Materials, tools and Texts: all inclusive and prepared ♧ Maximal: 9 Personen ♧ Beginner to Advanced level ♧ Language: German, English or Japanese ♧ Place: Haus DIVA Lise-Meitner-Straße 12, 79100 Freiburg-Vauban * see the map below↓
♧ My concept of teaching SHODO calligraphy is focused on:
mind and body connection
discovering individual inner quality and peace
“Here and Now” momentum flow
de-stressing the body tension
raising Qi(energy) flow and awareness
Any question, I would be happy to hear from you!
When you sign up for the workshop, please write your experience/level in Shodo Japanese calligraphy. If you have already got calligraphy tools, you could bring along and show me.