I was asked to write the title of the Connaught Hotel’s hundred year anniversary album last year.
The order was to write in cursive line then I decided to write in Kana ; 仮名 calligraphy.
There are three scripts in Japan. Kanji 漢字, Hiragana 平仮名, and Katakana 片仮名.
To learn Japanese Calligraphy, we have two big categories : Kanji 漢字 and Kana 仮名.
The majority learn Kanji calligraphy, but we also learn Kana calligraphy.
Kana is called Onna-de 女手(女=woman, 手=hand) the meaning is ‘for women’, but it is not exclusively for women, it is a fact that in Japan men also write Kana. Kana calligraphy is called women’s hand because in the pre-modern period it is was thought more suitable for ladies.
Nowadays we still write Kana calligraphy and it surprised me that many foreign universities teach reading Kana calligraphy.
As one of their topics, I teach Kana calligraphy sessions at the University of Cambridge for many foreign students. I have had many opportunities to show Kana calligraphy in the UK, and other European countries. I also run Kana calligraphy classes in the UK.
I wrote Kana calligraphy for the Connaught Hotel.
The ; ザ ; 左
Connaught ; コンノウト ; 己无能宇登
We can write The Connaught in Japanese two ways, one way is コンノート, but it is better to write コンノウト for this work. I tried speaking both ways to British people, they prefer to hear コンノウト.
Of course many Japanese can read this Kana calligraphy and understand it.
Many thanks to The Connaught Hotel for involving me in this work.
I run a Japanese Calligraphy workshop at Emmanuel College; the University of Cambridge.
I was happy to do it in Harrods room as I had lectured there before, it had happy memories.
I took the paper that was made in Mino and gave it to the college to use in the Summer Seminar. It was a present from Mino city.
I showed them some decorative paper from Mino too.
The students were interested in Japanese Calligraphy items and looked as though they enjoyed to practice Calligraphy there.