Japanese Calligraphy – ‘pain’

This is a series of workshops designed by Azumi Uchitani to explore Japanese culture through the art of calligraphy and language. We will meet bi-weekly, slowly moving from season to season and uncovering new characters, rituals, concepts and beliefs deeply rooted in Japanese lifestyle. Each event we will centre around a new symbol: we will learn its meaning, discuss a poem about it, meditate and experience the power of the concept through calligraphy practice.

Pain:  痛

The Japanese concept of ‘Itai,’ meaning ‘pain,’ reflects a complex interplay of physical sensations and emotional experiences deeply connected to cultural and linguistic nuances. While ‘Itai’ directly translates to ‘pain,’ its connotations in Japanese culture go beyond mere physical discomfort. ‘Itai’ often signifies an empathetic response to the suffering of others or a shared sense of emotional discomfort. In interpersonal relationships, expressing ‘Itai’ can convey a deep connection and understanding of someone else’s hardships. The concept acknowledges the inevitability of pain in life and underscores the importance of empathy and compassion as essential cultural values. ‘Itai’ also extends to the appreciation of the beauty that can emerge from overcoming adversity, suggesting that, in acknowledging pain, one can find strength, resilience, and profound human connections.

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Azumi Uchitani is an Intercultural business consultant, keynote speaker, writer, artist and founder of Japanese SALON art & culture, based in the Netherlands. She is a two-times TEDx speaker, appearing Dutch TV and media and delivering talks to an international audience in Europe and in the US. Azumi is on a mission to build an essential bridge between Japan and Europe, helping global leaders discover Japanese ancient wisdom beyond culture, teaching how to apply its wisdom in everyday life, act with inner peace and create conscious leadership and fulfilling life. Azumi decodes the complexity of Japanese culture, tradition, philosophy, spirituality and unspoken rules into a simple essence of wisdom. She was born into a traditional spiritual Japanese family and raised with the teachings of Shingon Buddhism and Shinto. The spiritual and cultural practices, such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy have always been a part of her life, besides that, her grandmother was a kimono maker. Her insights, a series of talks are available on her YouTube channel ‘5 minutes on Japanese Wisdom’ on YouTube.


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