Sunday, December 4, 2011

Award Winning Kana Shodo Art

I've blogged about the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition and shown my photos of the picture cards that I had purchased.  But on this blog, I am able to show you the photo of a real award winning kana shodo art created by Iida Kazuko sensei.  I've complained to her husband through his blog that I wish I could see it more clearly.  Thanks to him, he sent me a clear photo!  He wrote on his blog that he could not read it, so the art is like a picture to him.  I agree.  I neither can read it entirely, but I wish.  If I find out the entire poem and meaning, I'll eventually add to this blog in comment section.  
Enjoy by learning and learn by enjoying is my motto.   Because you have already clicked this blog, you have learned something.  If you have enjoyed it,  that means you have learned more.  I hope you agree. 


Vincent said...

I too liked the piece, even without understanding anything of the words. It struck me how flowing and joined-up the words are. We call it "cursive script" when applied to handwriting in Roman letters. I wonder, does ordinary Japanese writing look like this? Or is this in the special category of calligraphy?

keiko amano said...


This art belongs to the Kana Shodo genre. I have blogged on my mother's writing.

She left a procedure to conduct a tea party included meal. That is a pretty modern way of writing with many kanji characters.

So, kana shodo is to imitate 1000 year old writing. It's beautiful but difficult. If you examine each art closely, very old writing or award winning art like this show no common personal habit in writing. I don't know how to express it, but maybe I should say I don't see ego in writing. I don't mean to put down my mother's writing or mine, but that ego-less looking,sophisticated writing is what we are after.

keiko amano said...

Thank you Iida san. He sent me the source. So, I have translated in my own way. There are many interpretation to each poem, but I think this gives some idea. If you find other translation, please let me know. We all want to learn something more.

According to Iida san, the title is "Autumn Flowers." Sensei picked six poems from Kokinwakashu as below. What she picked and designed them on one paper is her artistic sense. I'm learning, but that's one of enjoyment. Also, one of the poem is probably a bit controversial in interpretation among some people. The fifth poem is such poem. "Bloom" is instead used "untangled ropes" meaning having sex. So, some poets interpret it in sexual way. Isn't that interesting?

Ominaeshi is yellow flower, and fujibakama is lavender.

The first poem is from the 234th of Kokinwakashu (
Ominaeshi, the past-through autumn wind doesn’t appear to our eyes but its fragrance lets us know.

The second poem is from the 236th.
Rather than looking at ominaeshi alone, I’d like to grow it at my home.

The third is from the 237th.
Ominaeshi, with guilt, I still look at her. She stands on the dilapidated home.

The fourth is from the 240th.
That Fujibakama could be a memento of the person who used to live here. I ponder as I smell the unforgettable aroma.

The fifth is from the 246th.
On the autumn field with a hundred flowers blooming, let people enjoy from the bottom of their heart without a scold.

The 6th Poem is from No.264:
Even though the maple leaves haven’t fallen yet, I’ve been missing them already. These beautiful colors will disappear soon.

If you have any questions, please let me know. And if you come up with your own interpretation, please add your comment here. We all learn from each other. This effort of mine only came from one book I just bought for this blog: Kokinwakashu by Takada Yousuke.