Author Topic: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?  (Read 2422 times)

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« on: September 15, 2017, 04:49:28 AM »
Hi there everyone! I am planing an awesome travel my boyfriend is gifting me for Christmas: 21 days in Japan for New Year! So, I have been reading Japan themed blogs about traveling and I read about Kakizome, the first calligraphy of the year, but I cannot find much info on that. Is it a tradition each one does in their own home? Or can I go somewhere to watch calligraphers? I don't want to miss the opportunity if it does exists!
Also I would gladly accept recommendations about stationery or calligraphy stores or events! I have been reading the post about stationery stores in Tokyo, but since I am going to be in Japan from Dec18th to Jan8th I am going to be in Kyoto and Osaka too, and visit some other near cities as well!
Thank you all in advanced!
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline AAAndrew

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1022
  • Karma: 121
    • View Profile
    • The Steel Pen Blog
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 05:31:33 AM »
What an amazing trip! I don't know myself, but I know some people who might know. I'll ask around.

Congrats!
Check out my steel pen history blog
https://thesteelpen.com/

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 06:24:50 AM »
Thanks @AAAndrew It is going to be quite an adventure! Neither of us knows Japanese  :o so we are hoping to survive with my English (my boyfriend has a very basic level of it!) and universal gestures. I am trying to learn some basic words and Japanese characters. But in two months I don't know how much I can get!
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline chisato

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 09:13:59 AM »
Hi @Inked botanicals ! I'm Japanese, though I live in the US now.

I've only known kakizome be practiced at schools (usually elementary level, when we're studying calligraphy), some community centers, and at home. It's not something that every family does at home these days, but it's a big part of New Year's as a whole for sure.

Which city will you be in? I can do a quick Google search in Japanese for you to see if there's a public kakizome program you can go see. I think there is a big national competition (and exhibit of entries) at the Budokan in Tokyo every year. Though this year the exhibit didn't go up until February...

There may be someone on the forum who lives in Japan now who might have better info, but let me know if I can help :)

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 09:32:28 AM »
Hi @chisato thank you so much! I will be in Tokyo for new year and as my plane leaves from there I suppose will be there until dec8th. If you find anything it would be awesome! Thank you!!!
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline chisato

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 04:55:31 PM »
Hi @Inked botanicals. It looks like the Budokan in Tokyo hosts a giant national Kakizome competition every year on January 5th. I can't find any information on next year's event yet though; it's probably too early. Here's an English page on the Budokan:

http://www.nipponbudokan.or.jp/english

I can't quite tell if the general public can go watch or not. Maybe when it's closer to the date, there will be more info? Right now, it's just information about this year (2017) and the results of the competition.

You mentioned you will also visit Kyoto. I don't know if this will interest you, but some Buddhist temples in Kyoto offer a session where you copy sutras, using traditional Japanese calligraphy tools, as a meditative activity. This may be too challenging for people who don't read/write kanji characters, but I know of at least one temple that lets you do the same activity but you trace an image of a Buddha. It's called Sha-butsu. I've taken my German husband, and we enjoyed this very peaceful activity in a beautiful traditional setting:

http://shourin-ji.org/english/sutra/index.html

This temple also offers the sutra copying if you're interested, and looks like you can reserve by email.

Sorry I don't have better info on Kakizome, but hope some of this helps! I'm sure there are also one-day trial experiences at Japanese calligraphy studios if you were really interested.

Best of luck!

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 05:52:15 PM »
Oh that is so interesting!! Thank you @chisato

I will keep an eye on that website to see if there is more info with time, I know it is soon!

And I am definitely going to try the Sutra/Buddha copying! That would be an awesome experience! My boyfriend is getting a bit frustrated about me wanting to do calligraphy related activities because he thinks he is so bad at art, but maybe the beginner friendly image copying helps! And I really want to experience some meditative peaceful activity. I know I am going to be a tourist, doing tourist typical things without any knowledge of Japanese culture, but I would prefer to learn a bit and try to meditate at Buddhist temples rather that just go, take photos and leave without any kind of respect.

Thank you so much for the info!
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline schin

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1428
  • Karma: 118
  • Las Vegas
    • View Profile
    • Openinkstand
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 05:04:07 PM »
Omg! I will be visiting Tokyo too in January, but from Jan 9-13. I will just have missed you! I will piggyback on this thread, and also please share any fun spots to visit, as I have absolutely no idea what to do there.
OPENINKSTAND // website | blog |instagramyoutube

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 07:17:10 AM »
Oh! It would have been awesome to meet in Tokyo @schin

I'll keep you posted about my discoveries  ;)
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 05:03:57 AM »
Hi there! I am back from my Japan travel now!

@chisato I want to thank you for your recommendation about shourinji temple! It was one of the best times in our travel! you'll see why!

I did book an appointment by mail before traveling, and they answered me so nicely explaining everything. I chose to take the challenge of copying sutras in kanji, so they told me to get there early just in case I needed more time. So, once in Kyoto we prepared for going there early in the morning, we followed google maps directions there and arrived at a place closed with a fence. Inside there seem to be a temple, some houses and what looked like a children school. We waited for 30 minutes and no-one arrived. I was getting nervous as we where really 30 minutes late than the hour they told me to arrive. So I decided to enter the fence (which was closed but not locked) and went to what looked as a children school in order to get some help. A girl showed up, with no knowing of English (and I do not speak Japanese!). She called a man, with no knowing of English too, but we managed to tell him that we where searching Shourinji temple because we had a date for calligraphy there. He clearly did not understand everything of it, but he recognized "Shourinji temple" and decided to accompany us to the temple because it was easier that trying to tell us how to get there. So we followed him.

He took us to the temple we could see from the fence, told us to take off our shoes, got a key from his pocket and opened the temple for us. Then he told us we could pray there as much time as we wanted and got out. So we were alone in an empty (and beautiful) private temple. We didn't know what to do! We took advantage of the situation and admire the beautiful temple from the inside. Then we got out in order to get some other help, and found another little temple with a different name and some signs in English, so we went there to ask. There a very nice man told us to go to the temple's office, and accompanied us there. There was a woman there, and I showed her my emails about the calligraphy date. And she explained to us that we where in the wrong place. There was another temple with the same name some streets away! She marked the place for us in our google maps so we could get there.

Finally we got to the Shourinji temple where I had the appointment! The calligraphy started at 14.00, but they had told me to get there at 12.00. It was 13.05 and the temple was closed for service from 13.00 to 14.00! There was some people outside waiting. So we decided to go for a walk around and come back at 13.45. When we came back, the people waiting were still there, and service had not ended yet. But a nice lady who did not speak English came for us (we were the only non-japanese people there, so we were quite easy to identify) and we finally could sit and practice calligraphy. She explained us all the previous ritual, and how to use the brush, and made us some matcha tea with some sweets.

I did the sutra copying in kanji, and my boyfriend did the buddha drawing. We did have enough time for it, and had no problem. We both had a great time, and my boyfriend even got friends with the monk, because he was the only one with the buddha drawing and the monk was a bit surprised and went by his side to chat a bit. The monk even made us some kind of stamp (something that was done at many temples and I think is some kind of certificate of your visit, but I am not really sure) with his own calligraphy and the official temple stamp in red. And he added some snowflakes in silver ink and some rabbits in gold ink!

At the end the experience was fabulous, and we are still laughing at the misunderstanding at the first temple! We had a real Japanese experience that not everyone gets!
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals

Offline AnasaziWrites

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2421
  • Karma: 170
  • Ad astra, per aspera
    • View Profile
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 08:06:36 AM »
Terrific.
Any photos you care to share?

Offline AAAndrew

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1022
  • Karma: 121
    • View Profile
    • The Steel Pen Blog
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 09:38:55 AM »
Sounds like a wonderful time, and a true traveler experience! Sometimes those serendipitous mistakes can take you to places you would never have found otherwise. I'm glad you and your boyfriend were willing to go along and you had a good time. What a great experience to look back on.
Check out my steel pen history blog
https://thesteelpen.com/

Offline chisato

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
    • Website
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 05:08:05 PM »
Thank you for sharing @Inked botanicals ! What a wonderful story! I am SO happy to hear that it all worked out (and that you had a bit of an adventure too)!

Thank you also for visiting my home country and for taking the time and effort to explore off the beaten path - sounds like it was that much more rewarding. Also good to know that there is another Shourinji in Kyoto, in case I direct anyone else to go!

 :D

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7266
  • Karma: 332
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 06:25:57 PM »
This sounds amazing! And like something @schin  would enjoy as well. Such adventurers! Thank you for sharing with us and I hope you will share some photos if you have any.

The kindness of strangers is one of our world's greatest gifts.  :)
Warm Regards,
Erica
Lettering & Design Artist
Flourish Forum Shop
Instagram

Offline Inked botanicals

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
  • Karma: 36
    • View Profile
    • My Instagram
Re: Help with travel plan to Japan! Anyone knows kakizome?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 10:18:08 AM »
It was such a wonderful adventure! Everyone was so helpful with us, and we really really wanted to explore something more than just tourists-things.

I share two photos (we have all of it in a 360 video, but I have yet to learn how to share that). In one of them you can see me and some of the beautiful room we were at. The other one is my final sutra (the one in the up) and the original (the one in the down) to compare with.
Alba.

Instagram: @inked_botanicals