Monday, November 18, 2013

Shodo and Sumo

Shodo morning.  Returning to river (かわ(kawa)), working through friend (ともだち(tomodachi)) and then the kanji for friend (友人(yuujin)).  Trying to embrace the curves of the と(to) and も(mo), the spacing in だ (da) and the angle of ち(chi).  Enjoying a new beautiful brush stroke that came with the kanji, the final lower right-hand finish of each character, where the brush pauses for a second before completing its stroke.  It looked like magic when my teacher did it.  A subtle curve that seemed to expand to infinity within the confines of its form.

top row かわ, from last week.  Middle row ともだち, her examples in orange, my attempts to copy in black.
After passing approval for each character she made some notes on the spacing
upon which I focused.

lite circles indicate "OK"
Shadow markings in orange show where the lines should be;
we don't have any discussion beyond approval and example

The beauty of friend.  I really enjoy this one.  I've put my example here not because it is superior to hers but because it has her circles which indicate the points of interest in the characters.  Beginnings of strokes, the body of the stroke and the ends.  Especially the final lower right end of the stroke for both characters.
Later in the day I joined some friends for a different Japanese past time, sumo.  It's tournament season and there is English broadcasting of the games by some magical feature.  Sumo is really amusing, except for the top Yokozuna (top rank) wrestler Hakuho, who seems genuine.   He's quite incredible to watch.  Only 137 pounds when he came to Japan at the age of 15 (from a family of Mongolian wrestlers) he almost wasn't accepted to training.  He's now 340 pounds and in an incredible winning streak, undefeated in the last two tournaments and also currently in this one (each tournament is 15 matches per wrestler).  In the midst of the normal staged anger of sumo, a calm of acceptance to his face before every match.

The art of perfection.  Whether it's gaining 200 pounds and throwing someone outside a ring or completing a line on a page to satisfaction.  Practice.

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