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Greeting 2021 With Calligraphy and Wishes

New Year 2021

In contrast to the boisterousness of New Year’s celebrations in the West, the Japanese traditionally greet the new year with quiet reflection.

There is even a Japanese buddhist admonition to “stay at home and drink sake with your wife” on New Year’s Eve.

One annual ritual is the practice of “kakizome,” or first writing: Japanese will take out their calligraphy brushes and practice writing out the labor-intensive but beautiful pictographs (or ideographic logograms, if you want to be precise) of Japanese “kanji.” 

The Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association has teamed up with the Folk Arts Program at Arts Mid-Hudson to present a workshop on kakizome and a selection of other traditional Japanese art forms including  origami and the making of sweet rice flour mochi cakes, which are eaten on New Year’s day along with small oranges.

According to the news release announcing the video, “Kakizome is … based on the belief that practicing one kanji over and over helps the writer focus on the hoped-for theme. If there is ever a time that stating such intentions is vital, 2021 is surely the year.”

Because of the pandemic, the workshop will be online only and can be watched on Facebook at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 (search the Arts Mid Hudson page) and on YouTube after the live stream.

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