In the 24th All Japan High School and University Students Calligraphy Exhibition (hosted by Yomiuri Shimbun and Nihon Shogei’in), Hinata Matsumoto (2nd-year student, Faculty of Foreign Studies’ Department of British and American Studies) was awarded the grand prize.
The exhibition showcases calligraphy by students and is a competition in the four categories of “kanji” “kana” “sentences with both kanji and kana” and “tenkoku (seal carving)”. A total of 10,402 pieces (7,286 by high school students and 3,133 by university students) were submitted this year.
Matsumoto began practicing calligraphy when she was in second grade. For the competition, she chose to work with eleven poems from Kokin Wakashū (“Collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times”) with advice from her calligraphy teacher, and submitted in the “kana” category. She practiced for about 3 months since this January in order to produce the best gradation of sumi ink, which paid off as she won the grand prize.
“When I pick up my brush, my mind becomes ‘empty’ and I feel like my feelings are in order,” says Matsumoto, who is now studying at the University of Victoria in Canada. “I am full of delight and gratitude to be receiving this news while I am abroad. In my attempt to spread Japanese culture here, I am showing my works to my homestay family and friends at the university.” Matsumoto, who is now committed to cultural exchange through calligraphy, will be returning this December.