Ashley Harlow: 書道

During my semester at KCJS I studied the art of Japanese calligraphy, or 書道 (しょどう). I studied under 浅草先生 who has been practicing 書道 throughout her entire life alongside of a few of her students. Prior to my first lesson, I had absolutely no experience other than writing a handful of simple kanji with a pencil, so learning to write complex kanji with a large brush I had never used anything like before was a challenge. But by the end of the semester, I had improved enough that 先生 encouraged me to sign my works! Overall, I am extremely grateful for my experience at my CIP! I got a very solid start in a skill that I hope to continue practicing in the future, and I was able to practice my listening skills with Kansai-ben! My biggest piece of advice for students going into their CIPs in the future is to be honest about where your language level is at. If someone says something that you don’t understand, ask them to repeat it or to use more simple vocabulary instead of nodding your head and pretending like you understand; in the long run, you will have a much more enjoyable experience and learn tons more when you can communicate clearly and effectively with each other!