Archive | November 2017

书法 Calligraphy

I started learning calligraphy in 4th grade. That time I did not know about calligraphy, I was initially searching for an art class, but I discovered my current calligraphy classroom instead where the teacher introduced the art of traditional calligraphy to me. I decided to try out and soon fell in love with the feeling of using the traditional ink and brush to make beautiful and graceful strokes.

I really like traditional culture; I feel it is fading away, since a lot of younger generations don’t really enjoy it, but I really find it unique and interesting. The artform originally came from China of course, since kanji originated from China, and there’s a wide variety of character writing styles, but I am really interested in ancient characters styles.

In the past few years, I have participated in many calligraphy competitions and exhibitions, but I always entered in the childrens

During the summer of 2016, I spent 3 whole days writing an 800 character ancient script called 曹全碑 (Cao Quan Stele).

Cao Quan stele was made in the Han dynasty (185 AD) in memory of Cao Quan, a virtuous officer of the Han dynasty. The stele recorded Cao Quan’s life, his achievements as well as his ancestry. The Cao Quan Stele is considered as the prime example of Han clerical script and is known for its elegance and beauty.  The identity of the calligrapher, however, remains unknown.  The original stone is now stored in Xian’s Forest of  Stone Steles Museum. (Sources for this background information: and 

I am the first high school student ever to be recognized with first place honors by the Contemporary Calligrapher Association and the All Japan Shodo Federation in their annual calligraphy competition.

The judges spend months studying the entries, and I found out my results over winter break. My submission was displayed at the Tokyo Art Museum near Ueno Park.

I appreciate the relaxing atmosphere while writing.

I am honored to be recognized on a national level. I will keep trying hard in calligraphy and will be placed at a higher level in future competitions so I have to work hard to keep improving.

Community Engagement –– Chiku service group

This is a service activity that I have been part of since 9th grade.

I would not have known about Chiku service if it weren’t for this activity. I lived in the area for 10 years and never knew there was a Chiku service area. By being part of this activity I learned more about volunteer work and the community around me. I learned that small changes could make a big impact for the homeless ––– donating food and clothes means that more individuals won’t have an empty stomach and will be able to keep warm especially during the winter. I came to realize that everyone, even those who live on the streets have a unique story, it is important to understand and accept people and not marginalize them. I think that this is important knowledge to gain because we need to know that everyone does not live the same lifestyle and we have to be thankful for the things we have.

This knowledge about the world made me understand to value and not waste, also not to complain about things I don’t have because there are people in the world who may not even have basic necessities. However, this also made me question whether certain volunteers are doing the right thing. Are we actually helping them? Many people may think the homeless people are happy just like that because they get money from the government. The homeless sometimes gets more money from the government than some people are paid from working. So maybe the homeless are just lazy? If we donate to them food and supplies wouldn’t they just become lazier and rely on those donations rather than trying to earn their food and supplies from working? Yes, it may be true for some people, but not for many others. There are many barriers the homeless experience, they are marginalized, and people tend to stay away from them because of their physical appearance, therefore, making it very difficult to find jobs ––– from the research we did during Chiku meetings, we learned that many of these people earn small incomes from sorting and collecting trash such as cans and magazines.

Working collaboratively with others:

In the Chiku group, we have split ourselves into smaller groups with more focused tasks (Awareness, fundraising, communication, onigiri, and events). I am part of the onigiri group, our job is to organize the onigiri making sessions which happens once a month. During the onigiri sessions, we work together to make more than 100 onigiris which will be served to the homeless during lunch. The elementary children are often at these sessions to help us make onigiris too. These sessions usually take place early in the morning. Sometimes we have to prepare onigiris for service events as well, in these cases, only the onigiri group is there to make more than 100 onigiris and this usually takes us more than 2 hours to make. Although these sessions are not mandatory for all Chiku members, everyone still takes their time off to come to these sessions.

Link to photos: gcd chiku photos