Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just a “Personal” Complaint

 Once again, I made the mistake LOL, of cruising the internet, to see what was available (information and/or example wise). And once again, I was disappointed by what I found.
 One of my greatest feelings of embarrassment (for other individuals), is when they attempt to brush Japanese kanji, and (obviously) don't have a clue, on how to do so (YET, Think that they Do). 
 I recently came across a site, and was appalled at some kanji that had been brushed, and posted there. To my further (embarrassment? Disgust?), I was actually familiar with, and have met the individual who brushed it (his name had been posted with it, as if anyone would want their name connected to it in any way). I'd met the individual on several occasions previously and thought he was a self-promoting blow-hard then (and I disregarded him as such), but this example (of his alleged expertise) just confirmed it. 
 He's your typical “martial arts” guy, who claims to know everything, about anything oriental (which I'm aware that he does have some knowledge, but clearly NOT when it comes to calligraphy, LOL). He was a 7th Dan when he got kicked-out of the association that he was (moderately) in attendance of  until recently, and promptly promoted (himself) to 10th Dan (yes, I know typical, LOL).
  He also has given himself, a “Japanese Sounding Title”, which he created, in that the title?, isn't a recognized one, it consists of a few kanji thrown together to create a new word (at least in his mind), everyone fluent in the language (that I've asked) has scratched their head, and started laughing when they viewed it. Frankly, the MA stuff, I could give a rat's ass about, you can call yourself what-ever you want, teach what-ever you want, who really cares?.

(it's actually an embarrassment for anyone who Does know how it's supposed to be done, to view it)

 It wasn't that there were a few mistakes, ...every kanji had (amateurish) mistakes made in their execution. Knowing how long this individual has been (attempting to be) brushing Japanese kanji (at least 14yrs?), “I” would have thought that he would have improved over time, my mistake. He makes the “common” mistakes that most beginner's make, he (attempts) to brush “Gyosho”(semi-cursive style) kanji, before becoming (even moderately) adept at brushing “Kaisho”(block-style).

 He then (attempted) to blend “Sosho”(fully-cursive-style) into the kanji he was creating (and did so incorrectly). I don't fault anyone for attempting to learn how to brush Oriental calligraphy. It's an involved process and contains many intricate details, requiring an immense amount of practice to become even moderately competent in. When done correctly, it's something that can be admired, and even respected. But when done in the manner that this was presented, and then displayed (as being an “example”), it becomes an embarrassment to anyone who does practice Japanese Calligraphy, much less for those that practice it as an art, I.E. Shodo (“Way of the Brush”). 

 For most people, the mere attempt at brushing kanji is beyond their (own) recognized ability. Obtaining any training in it, is (often) difficult to come by. But, just as when learning a martial art, proper instruction is necessary to be able to perform it correctly. I've known (numerous) individuals who could walk through a kata, and not have a clue as to what they were doing. The same can (too often) be said of those who (attempt to) do Oriental Calligraphy. They “go through the motions”, and don't have a clue as to WTF their doing.

 Even to the "untrained" eye, these were hastily done attempts.

 And granted, if one knows no better, then who really cares?

 Well, the one's who DO know better do, by "passing" this stuff off as correct, only cheapens the art as a whole. 


 Shodo is an ART, with a set of specific skills attributed to it. when shoddy work is passed off as being "Talent", it lessens anyone (else) who pursues that art. 

 If any of this work (and I use that term loosely)  had been presented as a student's attempts, I would have had no problem with it. For a beginner, they would have been nice attempts. "I" happen to be licensed, and I don't present myself the way that this individual does, LOL.

Guess it just goes to show, Long as you call yourself something, there's idiots out there that will believe it (and this guy proves it, LOL).

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