Friday, August 27, 2010


ところで、吉本ばななの「キッチン」を読んでみて続けているけど、非常に難しいよ。知らない漢字がたくさんあり、部首で調べることは時間がたくさんかかるんだ。それに、文字は小さくてスパースがあまりないので、調べた漢字は振り仮名を書くことができない。だから、漢字の意味を早く忘れ、もう一回調べなくちゃ。大変だね! コンピュータで読めば「理解ちゃん」と言うソフトが使えるから、そのほうが易いと思う。実は、「理解ちゃん」を使いたいし、振り仮名を書きたいし、今本のテキストを全部タイプしている!ばかだね。

Article on executions in Japan.


Interesting article in 毎日新聞 Mainichi Shinbun on the criminal execution process in Japan, apparently long shrouded (笑) in mystery.


Interesting, the ritual of it—purification with salt, and so on. I think this part would infuriate me:
Killing me would be bad enough, but do they have to moralize, too?!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

今日の習字。 Shuuji!

ただいま! Great to be back in shuuji today after several weeks' absence. First we did some more renmen (連綿), writing characters in continuous lines; we're working with two hiragana at a time, so we did よふ, then はま, then なつ. Then hentaigana: several forms of ni (に), which funnily enough look a lot like fu (ふ); the similarity presumably comes from their kanji origins, as two strokes of fu 不 look a lot like the 人べん radical in ni 仁. After に, back to my current summer kanji combo, 「昼院靜」, hiru in sei. Gyousho. A bit of practice on newspaper, and then some attempts at お清書 on various better kinds of paper: the thirsty yellow one, two other (less thirsty) yellow ones, a white one that seemed not to care for me at all. I did a few things that worked well, but nothing really good. Still spacing issues, even though I tried to demarcate the paper with two 小筆. I could happily write in 行書 all day, but eventually my arm stiffened up and my 行書 started looking more like bad 楷書. Sharp corners. Yuck. And I still tend to write everything too heavily, as if instead of writing it with good technique I were just demanding it look right. 靜 ends with a beautiful vertical stroke that veers left at the end and that you can pull practically off the page:

Next time I think we're moving on to 草書 for 「昼院靜」, and 先生 has asked us to practice our 書 names. Writing my sho name and 書 (kaku) always worries me, because it's your last chance to ruin your work—you've finally managed to write something that's worth putting your name on, but then you ruin it by writing your name or 「書」 badly. As if, as I said to my friend and fellow student as we left, in signing a painting Rembrandt forgot to write the "d". (Perhaps his patrons would have find that charming, but.)

A few months ago I stamped a piece with my chop but had the angle wrong—ie, the inked chop facing the wrong way. Rookie mistake!