Friday, December 13, 2013

ka ki ku ke ko

You may have noticed that I've been wandering off the path of orthodox etegami a lot recently. And as fun as it has been, I like-- and need-- to return to the basics at regular intervals and wiggle my bare toes in the fertile soil of true etegami.

Here I dangle the writing brush from the tips of my fingers, perpendicular to the writing surface, with my elbow lifted to shoulder level. I move the brush slowly, ever so slowly, so that the line wavers from the strain of keeping my elbow raised and from the friction of the brush against the washi card, while the sumi ink blotches with each beat of my heart. This is called a "living line" and it is at the soul of etegami.

Today's etegami is a simple persimmon accompanied by writing that says "ka ki ku ke konnichi wa." I played with the k syllables in the Japanese syllabary. "kaki" means persimmon. And "konnichi wa" means hello. No deep meaning. Just a cheerful greeting for any day of the year, but especially late fall and winter.


  1. Hi, "Lefty" Debbie, good work!!
    Cheers, Sadami

    1. Hi Sadami, the photo was taken from my laptop camera, and came out as a mirror-image. I'm not left-handed. At the time I took the photo, I didn't know how to flip the image around, but now I do. I'd change the photo, but I'm too lazy... ;p

  2. I really like this post with the reminder, and also for a peek at the way you are holding the brush. Thank you!

  3. So much info in a little blog! This is my favourite blog of yours, Debbie!!! Great!!

  4. That's the best explanation I've heard for why Japanese people paint in such an uncomfortable way. I tried it years ago, but maybe I'll try again with this better understanding. I don't have as much time for visiting as I used to, but I always love scrolling through your posts. Always clever, and I'm fascinated by the insides of kiwis too :)

  5. Hello Debbie. Thank you for explaining so much about etegami technique and line quality in such a transparent manner. Haven't managed to check in on your blog for far too long, but it seems that I picked the right day to visit! Hoping that 2013 has been good for you, and that 2014 brings you peach and joy. With respect - Claire.

  6. I love the cheerfulness of the persimmon