As it opens….

0378CIt isn’t too late to extend a holiday or New Year’s greeting:  開けまして おめでとうございます (akemashite omdedeto gozaimasu)/as it opens or begins…congratulations!   Maybe it’s ‘congratulations, you made it this far!’  A new year is something of a milestone – for all of us.

At any rate, I know of a certain culture where they celebrate this aspect of “newness” by marking a lot of “firsts,” one of them being the first calligraphy of the New Year, kakizome.  In reading that zome  I wondered if it had to do with saturating the paper with ink, but in researching, I found it didn’t.  The zome (初) in this case is different  from 染 (some/zome) which is the one I’m more familiar with.

初 (zome) means beginning and in the context of 書き初め (kakizome) means ‘first writing’ while 染 (some/zome) is the verb for dyeing.  I don’t recall being exposed to the activity in my early years in Japan, but later, in teaching the language it was something I enjoyed sharing with my students.  Sometimes, it was a good way to engage with studies on that first day  after the holidays.

I have to admit, since leaving the profession, it hasn’t been a ritual I carry out, but I like the idea and think about it and it’s significance.  So this year, I was determined to do something…but in shibori and indigo.

I chose 日の出/ひので/hinode (sunrise) as my kanji since I’m familiar with these in this context – also from calligraphy lessons years ago.  I quickly worked up the shibori aspect on New Year’s Eve then did the dyeing on “the day.”  Unfortunately, I saw no glorious sunrise as it was a drizzly, chill day, but the vat was warming.  I may have started a new “ritual” for the upcoming years.

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4 Responses to “As it opens….”

  1. shiborigirl Says:

    perfect. i really like kanji interpreted into shibori. what stitch were you using here? maybe おりぬい?

    • Susan Says:

      Definitely used some of that おりぬい! I’ll have to say that it was very unplanned, just let the “spirit guide” so to speak….

  2. neki desu Says:

    ♥♥ when kanjies make sense even if you don’t know the reading.

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