The second time I stayed at Yoshimi's, I got to go to a Shu-Ji (japanese calligraphy) class with her. It was a small, quiet classroom with a few people sitting on matts, bent over their work. We went with Yoshimi's friend, Judy. Judy was really funny, and she asked if she could touch my eyelashes. So I let her. haha.
The word I wrote was Sara in Hiragana, one of the Japanese alphabets. I'm trying to learn Hiragana but I haven't gotten very far. The Japanese alphabet is very different than the English alphabet, as far as the sounds. Each charachter represents a syllable. So far I'm trying to memorize a,(pronounced as in car) ka, sa, ta, na, ha, ma, ya, ra, and wa. Here is a chart of the Hiragana alphabet:
And that is just Hiragana, then there is the Katakana alphabet, which is just as big. Katakana is used mostly for foreign names and words. THEN there's Kanji, which is derived from chinese, and are characters that represent a thing or idea and can have more than one syllable. And get this-there are 50,000 different Kanji characters. So if you want to read a road sign or anything in Japanese, the characters are a mixture of all three of these alphabets, hiragana, katakana, and kanji. haha... it's insane! I was talking to one of Aya's friends about the Japanese prime minister, and she said that everybody in Japan hates him. She said he is not very smart and that he knows less kanji than she does. It seems so complicated to me, but I think if I had lived here all my life it wouldn't be.
Anyway here is a photo of me at the Shu-Ji class with the Shu-Ji instructor and Judy, and some other guy who was super shy. So we asked if we could have his picture. haha.
Yoshimi is in this picture too. I don't know why they have those matching sweat outfits, maybe it's especially for Shu-Ji?
Here is Judy and Yoshimi.
I think Yoshimi is really good at Shu-Ji.
Here are my shu-ji hanging up to dry on the laundry rack.
This is one of Yoshimi's shu-ji that her mom showed to me proudly.
This is Rika (Yoshimi's mom) and I before we left to visit Yoshimi's Grandparents. I'm going to do a seperate blog on that.
Yoshimi and I.
I took some photos of the house before we left; they live in a really quiet but beautiful neighborhood in the mountains.