Sunday, June 12, 2011

印鑑!! (We make stamps.)

Today in shuuji we picked our next poem—I asked 先生 to help me choose between two, the one I discussed with 日本語の先生 (心ここになきかなかぬかほととぎす) and that one by Issa about moonlight shining through a spider web (蜘の巣に月さしこんで夜のせみ). (Two insects in one poem! If we did kumo as two kanji, we'd have mushihen twice—two insects in the kanji. 蜘蛛。) We chose the cicada and spiderweb.

Then we took a stab at inkan (stamps)—shuuji friend Cさん and I are trying to do one with our sho name and one with another tensho character we've been working on, 和 for Cさん and 無 for me. I've been writing mu as one of the traditional crying faces. But we're thinking that for the stamp I'll try a lighter version that seems like it's exploding. (Both at right; 先生 drew these as options to consider.)

Today I worked on a seal with my sho name. I drew a bunch of variations with pencil and then fudepen, and 先生 helped me mold them into something workable. Then we glued the tracing paper onto a stamp base that 先生 had made—in my case, black walnut with a taigua nut surface. (Beautiful!) After the glue (のり) dried, we started in on the grinding, with fun tools that were either sanders or drills. Ultimately we got them to where we could test-stamp and then mark some edits for next time. We made my sho name look a bit like a face—I like to see Hotei in it—so I'm looking forward to stamping stuff with it.

Meanwhile, I have a lot to work on with my kana.

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