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Japanese Culture Series 2017 – Think Ink 4

Students learn Japanese Calligraphy in third event of the series

By Jennifer Nguyen, Japanese Program Rep.

The third Japanese Culture Series event, Think Ink! 4 was on March 13th, 2017. This was a calligraphy event and it was taught by Sharp Sensei who is a professor at the University of Calgary. This event was also fortunately assisted by students from the Hokkaido University of Education. The event had an amazing turnout of 30 students who attended and participated at the calligraphy event.

Sharp Sensei started off the event with a lecture on calligraphy. Everyone attentively listened to the entertaining, yet informative lecture as Sharp Sensei first taught the students the history, as well as different styles of calligraphy, such as cursive and semi-cursive. She often shared her experience when she was in Japan learning calligraphy and what Japan’s education system is like with calligraphy, such as how calligraphy is taught in elementary school. She ended her lecture by introducing today’s evolving art, “performance calligraphy.” From this, the students also watched an awe-inspiring video on performance calligraphy.

After the delightful lecture by Sharp Sensei, the University of Calgary students had the opportunity to try calligraphy for themselves. In addition, for the first time ever at a Japanese Culture Series calligraphy event, there was at least one student from Hokkaido University of Education at each table to help guide the University of Calgary students on a one on one basis in calligraphy. The students were taught four Kanji and the first one being, “永” meaning “eternal or forever.” With this, the students learned the essential strokes because this Kanji itself, contains all the basic strokes. From there on, the students learned “春” (Spring), “愛” (love), and “道” (way).

The feedback on the event was positive and the students were certainly drawn into calligraphy and seemed to enjoy the experience. It was wonderful to see how captivated the students were during the lecture, as well as engaged when they tried calligraphy.

A big thank you to Sharp Sensei, as well as to the students from Hokkaido University of Education for such a wonderful and informative calligraphy experience.

This third event in the Japanese Culture Series of 2017 was organized by School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, University of Calgary.

The next event will be on Monday, March 27th at 5:00 pm in ICT 122. The event is titled “Scroll, Met Comics” and will be presented by Professor X. Jie Yang. This event also requires registration, so please do so by emailing We hope to see you there!