Japanese Calligraphy – suspicion

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.

Suspicion:  怪

The idea of “怪” (kai) in Japanese culture encapsulates a fascinating blend of the mysterious, supernatural, and the unexplainable. Originated from traditional folklore and beliefs, “kai” represents the realm of the uncanny, where spirits, yokai (supernatural creatures), and inexplicable phenomena dwell. This concept is integrated into various aspects of Japanese art, literature, and theatre, adding depth and intrigue to narratives. The allure of “kai” lies in its ability to blur the boundaries between the known and the otherworldly, inviting contemplation of the unseen forces that shape human experience. “Kai” not only sparks curiosity but also serves as a reminder of the profound respect for nature and the acknowledgment of forces beyond human control. Whether encountered in ghost stories or celebrated in festivals like Obon, “kai” reflects the Japanese culture’s enduring fascination with the enigmatic and the coexistence of the tangible and the ethereal.

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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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