I can't really recall the first time I learned to write my name. I'm sure there were high fives, and all the accolades a 3 or 4 year old could handle. However the memories are not mine, just the faint ones of bystanders who are no longer of this earth so I can't even get a play by play.
Yup, if I wanted to know the feeling or perhaps obtain it once more, well it's up to me. Traveling is my time to be brave. To try the things I've always wanted to but a bit apprehensive to do so. A time to pull a NIKE and 'Just Do It"...and that's exactly what I did.
I love travel. I used to like it because it gave me the opportunity to find the perfect gift for just about everyone under the sun. It also increased my baggage fees. This trip I've decided to spend my money on learning and adventures. This way I could use my knowledge and make handmade authentic gifts.
Japan's class of choice was a calligraphy class...where I learned how to write the symbol for "Spring" and "Sakura" (Cherry Blossom) as it was that time of year. I don't believe I could have picked a more beautiful time to be in Tokyo if I had tried. The blossoms were in full bloom last week, the weather was PERFECT on all the days I had planned outdoor activities, and the food was delicious. Best week ever. Besides the two symbols I also learned how to write my name. Believe me, I have never been so giddy with delight when my instructor...stood over me and said "good job. Good FIRST try" ...it was then where I started to feel the heat of the Japanese. Trying would only get me so far. I would have to DO.
I googled and googled until I found the website Veltra, I did not have a problem with their services however after my dealings with services like these I always recommend to save money book with company direct. This tour is ran by True Japan Tour. My instructor for my private was a strong and silent type: Mr Hideki Shimizu who was everything I would expect from my instructor: patient, kind, judgemental and pushed me because he KNEW I could do it. He was perfect. He and his assistant(Ms. Yuri ) taught me how to grate and grind my own ink, as well as how to use already prepared ink, the size and width of my brushes, the grade of papers etc.
I did not take many pictures as the setup reminded me of a class/learning experience nor did I feel as if it would be appropriate. The class was an hour in it's entirety. The beginning was history of calligraphy both Japanese and Chinese as the symbols we used came from the Kanji. And a brief overview of the history of the calligraphy, then about 30 min writing my name, and the symbols in both Japanese and Chinese, and then I was given a piece of hard cardboard with gold trim...and I made my masterpiece: