I can only apologize for being so inactive lately.
Between school, work, family, and love life, I've had little time for art or the internet.
I can't promise it won't be the same when I go back to school in January, so I'm announcing a hiatus this coming year, though I will pop in from time to time.
I've picked up some new hobbies I would like to share with you, though! I did not get to go to Japan, as I so jubilantly posted in my last journal; I was one of 3 people in the whole school who signed up, so the trip did not make.
But I've recently been teaching myself the arts of Japanese kimono, tsumami kanzashi, and kyougi karuta, and I've been enjoying them immensely.
Wearing kimono is an intricate and subtle art, and making them even more so; I would like to post pictures of some of my ensembles once I'm more confident in my abilities.
Tsumami kanzashi are delicate folded-fabric flowers that geisha and maiko wear in their hair; if you've ever wondered what those trailing popcorn-like strings are, they're part of the kanzashi.
There is a style of flower for every month of the year, and a few secondary flowers, too. Between kimono and kanzashi there are actually dozens of hidden clues as to the month, season, and formality of the occasion, and the age and social standing of the wearer; it's like a code, and it's fun to puzzle out.
I may post some photos of my recent works soon.
But karuta is what I'm most proud of.
It's a mind-sport involving ancient poems written on cards. The goal is to listen to the poem being read and grab the corresponding card before your opponent does. To do that, you have to memorize 100 poems in (ancient) Japanese before you can begin to play. It's not very popular outside of Japan (for some reason
), but my friends and I started a group--one of only 5 such groups in the United States. I actually got to be on Japanese TV because of it.
(Only for 15 seconds, though...) It helps me with my Japanese reading comprehension skills, as well as pushing my memory and reflexes to their limit. I enjoy it immensely. If you'd like to see videos of my group, you can look at our website here
That's all for now. Hoping you all had wonderful holidays, and a fabulous new year!