Kakizome: The First Writing of the Year. Celebrating our Diverse Community

The Languages Department celebrated ‘kakizome’ meaning ‘The First Writing of the Year’ in recognition of the Japanese tradition of writing kanji to welcome in the New Year (first kanji written at the beginning of the year). The event was held during the first and second week of term for Japanese Lower and Upper Prep students, producing some wonderful and original calligraphy known as ‘shodo’ 書道 the art of writing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush. 

After much discussion amongst the students, the most popular kakizome kanji was judged to be:   有言実行(ゆうげんじっこう- yuugenjikko)which translates literally as ‘perform what you have said’ or more naturally as ‘definitely do what you say you are going to do (this year)’. This was beautifully composed by Lower Prep student, Koyuri. The Lower Prep students had many positive and enthusiastic reflections on the afternoon’s activity. Their calligraphy writing skills improved markedly with each piece of work and by the end they were writing impressive kanji, demonstrating impressive balance, expertise and technique. 

Tatsuma, Lower Prep, commented: “There are many celebrations going on during the New Year’s holiday and I think it is a perfect time during the beginning of the year to decide what I want to accomplish this year, so I really enjoyed writing kanji which could best capture my ideas”.   

Mio, Upper Prep enthused: “This is a great way to start the year in Japanese. I love doing shuuji,  習字”(another word for calligraphy in Japanese).

Makoto, Lower Prep. added “I wanted to write down my New Year’s resolution on paper as I think I am more likely to achieve my goals if I focus my mind on written kanji”. 

Ruji, Lower Prep, said “I really enjoy writing kanji with using a fude and would like to join the Calligraphy CCA based on this experience to improve my writing skills”.

All the students voiced their appreciation to Ikeda sensei for her careful preparation and for giving them ideas, support and guidance throughout the afternoon in what proved to be a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience for the students.  

Mr Crispin Chambers
Head of Languages