Hello, my name is Shiori Yamagata and Tanya teaches me English. I’m in the second year of high school. I started doing Japanese calligraphy when I was in the third grade of elementary school and today I would like to show you my calligraphy.
Do you know what this is? This is called Shinsousenjinmon. It is a work of calligraphy written with brush and ink. This work is made of 1000 Chinese characters and together they make up different phrases. This particular piece of calligraphy is written in gold ink and I have to make the ink myself. Before I begin to write, I must mix together gold dust, gelatin and hot water. This gold ink (in Japanese it is called kindei) is easily affected by temperature and humidity and when the room gets cold, kindei thickens. When the air is dry, it evaporates and the ink won’t stay on the brush. Kindei doesn't go on paper as well as normal ink, so it was very difficult for me to use it. I wrote this using a very fine brush and it took me five months to write. The black paper is divided into 1000 squares and the squares are 3 centimeters. by 2.5 centimeters. Altogether there are 1000 characters and I practiced at least 1500 times. In total I wrote 2500 characters!!!! No mistakes are allowed when doing this work so if I made a mistake I’d have to start over completely! I didn’t make any mistakes but by the end I was going crazy!!!!
Right now, I’m practicing a work of 1700 words. It will be with normal black ink but still it is very difficult. However I’ll do my best!