Kakizome 2015, Japanese New Year interactive cultural program - Daily Hudson Valley News

Kakizome 2015, Japanese New Year interactive cultural program

Dec 29th, 2014 | By | Category: In Your Town

The Arts Mid-Hudson Folk Arts Program and the Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association present Kakizome, a Japanese cultural program celebrating the traditional first calligraphy writing of the New Year, on Saturday, January 3, 2015, 2:00 pm -3:30 pm, at Arts Mid-Hudson, 696 Dutchess Turnpike (Rt. 44), Poughkeepsie.

Amid the winter holiday flurry, we look with anticipation toward New Year’s potential. In many cultures, aspirations for the New Year are brought into focus through specific year-end and New Year traditions. For example, many cultural communities honor practices believed to encourage good luck or prosperity, including wearing red or yellow clothing (Mexican), eating black eye peas (American, especially among Southerners), and cleaning the entire home (Chinese).

Among Japanese New Years traditions is kakizome, the ritualized first calligraphy writing of the New Year. Historically, at kakizome Japanese used calligraphy to write poems that expressed their hopes and aspirations for the coming year. The kakizome tradition continues, albeit modified: these days practitioners write auspicious kanji (Chinese characters) rather than poems. It is a reflective practice organized around the understanding that practicing one kanji over and over helps focus on the hoped-for theme. For example, if you seek to be more patient toward others, you might practice the kanji for tolerance and acceptance.

Join us for kakizome 2015 as we practice auspicious kanji to guide us into the New Year. Volunteers from the local Japanese community will be on hand, offering guidance for deciding on and writing your chosen kanji. Brushes, paper, and ink will be provided. This popular program is free and open to the public, and is a welcome contrast to December’s hustle and bustle. Visitors are welcome to come and go any time between 2:00 and 3:30.

The Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association (MHJCA) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to introduce Japanese culture to the local community, to foster a sense of community among Japanese residents, and to be a bridge for cultural exchanges between Japanese and non-Japanese residents of the Hudson Valley. MHJCA educational presentations and language classes are aimed towards children and adults in the Hudson Valley area. The Association frequently collaborates with Arts Mid-Hudson to present interactive programs celebrating Japanese culture.

The Arts Mid-Hudson Folk Arts Program researches the arts and traditions of the region’s rich cultural, ethnic, religious and occupational heritages. Through educational and public programs like Kakizome, the Folk Arts Program shares these traditions. The program is open to ideas and suggestions about how to assist in celebrating your community’s heritage.

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