1. Greta Jones
I'm Greta Jones, from Canberra, Australia. This year, I have come to Kobe,
Japan as an exchange student, studying at the local high school. I have
always been interested in studying the Japanese language and culture, which
is why I came, and I have started learning shodo. While Japanese students
study shodo from primary school, this year was the first time I had tried
it (I'm 18 this year). While in Australia, I always thought of shodo as
something uniquely Japanese, and while I wanted to give it a go, I wasn't
sure how easy it would be for a foreigner to learn. However, I have realized
that learning it isn't difficult, and is a lot of fun.
From April, 1996 I joined the shodo class along with all my Japanese friends at school (I'm a second year senior high school student). We have class for 2 hours every week, during which time I learn from a different program to all the others.
The first thing I ever wrote was my name, in katakana, on April 18th. While that may sound simple, there was a lot behind it! I'd never even held a fude before, or seen any of the equipment, so everything was new and foreign. I never thought I'd be able to remember it all. However, while my shodo wasn't first class by any means, I did manage to produce something which looked "Japanese" and that was a great feeling. I started learning at the same level as Japanese primary (elemntary) students, using a "shosha" textbook. Shosha is the Japanese term for beginner's lessons, where the aim is to learn to write kanji, katakana and hiragana properly and neatly.