While in Niseko, Japan, I took myself to a calligaphy class, organised through SkiJapan.com. Tadashi, my man on the ground, came along to the class and totally showed me up. Granted he had been learning calligraphy at school since he was a little boy. Our teacher took us through the basics of calligraphy – crushing the black powder to make the ink, holding the brush and making confident strokes.
After many practices, I finally worked up the courage to write directly on to the gold rimmed card. I think it says snow, but knowing my skills it probably says something off the charts rude!
Tadashi is hilarious. He was telling me as a child in calligraphy class their paper was stacked with a small blue piece of paper every twenty sheets. He reverted back to a child and actually fought me for the blue paper and then showed me why…they would blow on the paper to make it flap about. Each to their own, ha ha, but I gave it a go. It was pretty funny to see how amused Tadashi was by it still, many years later.
Once we had finished our masterpieces, our teacher asked us to stamp the page with her red signature. Tadashi asked for the inkpad and started covering his hand in ink and slapped it down on the page. Apparently another hark back to his youth!
For the record, we were writing different words, I wasn’t that bad! You can see Tadashi’s flourishes are far better than mine, but for a first attempt from a non-artistic person, it’s not too bad. I even wrote my name on the right hand side.
The lesson was held at the Niseko Cultural School, where you can take classes in Japanese Tea Ceremony, kimono dressing, sushi making and tours to local shrines and art galleries. They also have a beautiful gallery and antique collection onsite called Momiji. If you want a day off the slopes, or like me you injure yourself, it’s a great way to fill in a day.