Welcoming in the new year with calligraphy

The Japanese III Honors class practices their kanji, a type of Japanese characters, on newspaper before using washi paper. Photos by Rebecca Meyer.

While some classes at Sacred Hearts Academy are diving straight into coursework and reviewing lessons from last semester, the Japanese II-V and Advanced Placement (AP) classes spent the first week of the second semester learning Japanese calligraphy.

The practice, called shuji, is the art of writing Japanese characters in an artistic way using a traditional calligraphy brush and washi paper.

Students were first given newspaper to practice simple characters such as, the number one, two, river and water for the first class. Around the classroom were examples that showed the stroke order for each character, as well as which direction each stroke went.

Then using a skinnier brush, students practiced writing their names in Japanese so that they could sign their piece.

“I thought the class was very educational because we get to learn about the different Japanese writing styles,” junior Tyra-Marie Tabayoyong said. “I thought it was going to be easy because it’s almost like painting, but there is so much more to it, such as, the different line endings and the thickness of the stroke.”

The second day of class, students were then given five pieces of washi paper to write the character for dog, since 2018 is the year of the dog, according to the Chinese Zodiac calendar.