Sunday, September 18, 2005

Flying Well

Saturday was so great! We were invited to the community center across the street from the old Shirasagi Residence. Quick background- Shirasagi Residence is the name of the building I live in. There was another Shirasagi Residence near where I live and they are knocking it down right now. It use to be directly across the street from the Okamachi Community Center. There are community centers all over the city. They offer all kinds of classes and events.

A shodo (calligraphy) teacher/expert gave us our kanji names (Kanji are characters which are a derivative of Chinese written language) and we tried to do calligraphy. It reminds me of pottery in the sense that it looks like it wouldn't be that hard to do because the teacher makes it look effortless, but it was really hard. The teacher was AMAZING!!! So we practiced on paper and then they gave us beautiful white boards to write our names and gave them to us. My name - Taube - had 2 kanji letters and it meant "Flying Well". Which I really like because my name in german means dove or as some of my friends have kidded, pigeon.

After our calligraphy lesson, we were treated to a demonstration of music by a type of Japanese instrument that's sort of like a harp with 13 strings and lays flat on the ground - the Koto.

Then we were given kimonos and a handmade child's toy called tonbo (dragonfly) that was made out of bamboo by the Tonbo Association. It flies really well!

Afterwards, we went to coffee with some of the members of the community center. It was an amazing afternoon!

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