January 2 ~  Kakizome Day Lonely Planet Japan

"If you look up, there are no limits." ~ Japanese Proverb

every woman is extraordinary

Today in Japan is Kakizome Day, the "first writing" of the New Year. For this annual tradition, families use brush and black ink to write a favorite quotation, haiku, or proverb with Japanese characters on long strips of paper, creating beautiful works of art with Japanese characters.

These finished resolutions are hung and celebrated. To quote one Japanese Proverb, "The very thing one likes, one does well."

On Kakizome Day, elementary and middle school students begin the year refining their calligraphy skills. Calligraphy is integral to the curriculum and taught in all schools as part of the kokugo (national language).

Victorian philosopher John Ruskin once said, "When love and skill work together, expect a miracle." Japanese calligraphy requires skill in holding the brush, preparing the ink, and stroking and placing the characters on the paper. Creating beautiful brushwork is a celebration.

Written Japanese is complicated and requires 2,000 characters and is a blend of three writing systems: Kanji, which is the idea of the word rather than its sound, and hiragana and katakana, where the characters represent the spoken sounds.

Kanji, more complex than hiragana or katakana, was imported in the 5th century from China via Korea. Before then, Japanese was strictly a spoken language. On this Kakizome Day of calligraphy and quotations, the language is transformed to art... and the spirit and creative heart are boundless.

More CREATIVITY Quotations

No limits within.

bred 13s legend blue 11s lululemon black friday beats by dre black friday north face cyber monday jordan 13 grey toe black infrared 6s legend blue 11s uggs black friday jordan 13 black infrared 23 jordan 6 black infrared beats by dre cyber Monday jordan 13 black infrared 23 beats by dre black friday lululemon black Friday michael kors cyber monday michael kors black friday michael kors cyber monday uggs cyber monday louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet coach outlet jordan 11 legend blue coach black friday michael kors cyber monday michael kors black friday coach cyber monday beats by dre outlet black infrared 6s beats by dre black friday lululemon cyber monday coach cyber monday north face cyber monday lululemon cyber monday coach black friday beats by dre black friday jordan 13 barons michael kors outlet online uggs cyber monday lululemon black friday legend blue 11s uggs cyber monday legend blue 11s bred 13s michael kors black friday black infrared 6s michael kors cyber monday jordan 6 black infrared lululemon black friday north face black friday lululemon black friday michael kors black friday coach black friday north face cyber monday beats by dre black friday black infrared 6s uggs cyber monday legend blue 11s barons 13s coach black friday jordan 13 bred legend blue 11s lululemon black friday michael kors black friday black infrared 23 13s black infrared 6s grey toe 13s beats by dre cyber monday black infrared 6s uggs black friday uggs black friday black infrared 6s north face cyber monday jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre outlet grey toe 13s coach black friday grey toe 13s black infrared 6s legend blue 11s coach cyber monday lululemon cyber monday north face cyber monday black infrared 6s beats by dre cyber monday michael kors black friday coach black friday beats by dre cyber monday bred 13s louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cyber Monday coach black friday uggs black friday jordan 11 legend blue bred 13s uggs cyber monday uggs cyber monday jordan 6 black infrared uggs black friday beats by dre black friday coach outlet online beats by dre cyber Monday jordan 6 black infrared coach black friday coach black friday coach black friday michael kors black friday jordan 13 grey toe jordan 11 legend blue jordan 6 black infrared north face black friday jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s coach cyber monday coach black friday michael kors cyber monday lululemon black Friday north face black friday jordan 11 legend blue