Reflections from Japanese Calligraphy

25th September 2019

Recently, students of the JPNS2005 Japanese 2 Written course were treated to tutorials by visiting Tanka Poet and Calligraphy artist, Noriko Tanaka.

One student who attended had the following to say about the class:

"I must say this is a brilliant experience to enjoy the beauty of kanji. I come from China. Some elders told me that 書道 is a way to one's inner peace and many of my school peers had 書道 course after school. People in my country reckon that your handwriting can represent yourself. I had an experienced calligraphy course once when I was in primary school, but I was not interested in this slow writing activity at all as I was too impatient to do 書道 well. However, this time in JPNS2005 Written course, following Tanaka先生's instruction, I firstly wrote a good looking Kanji by myself. I found that there is a true and solid bridge between Kanji and the peace of mind. You may write great kanji only when you maintain an inner peace, and brush in hand, which traces the beautiful movements, has power to lead your heart to a spiritual calm. Thank you so much to give us a chance to discover the beauty of Kanji and the attraction of Japan culture! ありがとうございます。"

Ailun Zhang, Student, JPNS2005 Japanese 2 Written course, CHL

More information on the course can be found here

Noriko Tanaka, who was very impressed by the focus of the students and their determination to perfect their brush strokes, was also visiting for the launch of her poetry anthology, Darkness – Fire – Sutra. The collection was born out of the joint art installation project by visual-artist Savanhdary Vongpoothorn and Noriko Tanaka. The poetry collection, which saw its launch at ANU’s Drill Hall Gallery in August, has been translated by Noriko Tanaka and Dr Carol Hayes, Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Studies at CHL.

Savanhdary Vongpoothorn with Noriko Tanaka “Footsteps to the Nigatsu-Do” 2017-2019 (detail), Sumi (Japanese ink), gold ink and acrylic on Fukunishi washi paper, 170 x 1780 cm. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Brenton McGeachie.

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