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Calligraphy / Shuji

Japan With Kids - Forums: Education in Japan: Calligraphy / Shuji
By Cornelia on Friday, November 5, 2004 - 12:20 pm:

Hi, I've been trying to figure out how to find a local Japanese calligraphy class for my 8 year old daughter. I've asked my local "Number 1" lady, but haven't gotten anything concrete back that way. Can anyone suggest another method?

By Steve on Friday, November 5, 2004 - 9:12 pm:

My wife and I have been learning from Endo Koyo at her Koyo Calligraphy School in Sugamo (between Sugamo and Otsuka Stations). It's a one-room class and students are allowed to come anytime and stay for as long as they want on Fridays and Saturdays from 2pm to 8pm. Most of her students are Japanese, with ages ranging from grade school kids just learning the basics to older women honing their skills or enjoying shuji as a hobby. She is thrilled to have non-Japanese of all ages join her classes. She doesn't speak much English but her genki spirit helps her get her point across. We have not only learned a lot but truly enjoy going to her classes every week. I am sure she would warmly welcome your daughter.

She has a website at in Japanese (no English).

If you visit her, it might help to mention my name when you say how you learned about the school.

Note from Admin: Koyo's school at Otsuka station has a new web site address which is: Tel/fax: 03-3941-3809

By Yuko Kubota on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 4:20 pm:

Hi Cornelia,

Steve's suggestion sounds really good. Seems like an artistic class. But if you're still looking, since you seem to be on "asked my local 'Number 1' lady" basis :)
I can think of the following options.

1. Ask parents and teachers at your local elementary school.
2. Look for children walking around after school with calligraphy kit cases and see which direction they go.
3. Try your local phone book.
4. Try the internet.

I don't remember if you can read Japanese or not. If you have trouble with the above link, tell me which area you live in and I can post the link for that ward and translate the gist of the contents. But phone books might be more up-dated.

As you may know, calligraphy classes are becoming fewer. Fortunately, our neighborhood has a class right around the corner in Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama. Unfortunately, my son was never interested in going.

By Cornelia on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 11:59 am:

Dear Yuko,
Different kids are are ready for things at different times. My daughter seemed to get off to a very slow start on reading. It seems like there are a lot of people around getting their kids to read at age 4 and 5. And I seem to remember that I was reading quite well by first grade; in short, I was worried. But in retrospect, my daughter didn't sit still very well for more than 10 minute increments (except for television watching, ahem...) until recently. She has just turned 8 and she is now for the first time able to sit still and finish (relatively short) projects without jumping up and completely abandoning them at the first sign of difficulty. So I thought I'd try introducing calligraphy now (I did western calligraphy when I was 6). My real motivation is to help her teachers at school instill some kanji in her brain, by making it more interesting for her somehow. I have a strong feeling of parental inadequacy because I can't support her Japanese language learning myself. (Don't worry, I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I do want her to have a chance to get outside support!) Well, she did her first shuji class yesterday, and if she collects 60 tulips she will get a special brush as a present, etc. So the teacher seems to understand how to motivate kids. (She gets a tulip painted in red, when she has done a nice page.) It looks like fun, and I wish I had the money to join!
(Yes, this is at the school recommended by Steve, thanks so much for the lead!)

P.S. Here an example of what a shuji case looks like

By Cornelia on Monday, March 7, 2005 - 12:01 pm:

Western Calligraphy:
Mr. Joei Lau
also teaches in association with RBR arts center (minato-ku)

By Q B on Monday, March 7, 2005 - 12:39 pm:

LOL... that's Ms. Joei Lau. She's a good friend of mine and I can highly recommend her, I'm sure she's an excellent teacher.

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