I am at work, its night shift, running from our operational tower the plane movements on the ground, airport marshals, and parking positions. Planes are taking off and landing and I am thinking about my visit to Japan. I have been asked by my Calligraphy master to write about our experience of writing the ‘100 Characters Poem – Life is Beautiful’ with Japanese Calligraphic Designer and Artist, Neigetsu and her young students in Tokyo.

The love for Shodo, ink, paper, art and zen has brought all of us together, from all over Israel, to the Shodo Center for Calligraphy and Japanese Art run by Mrs. Tirza Paytan-Sela, our master.
This year Tirza has taken us on an art seminar and workshops around Japan. During that trip, we had a workshop with Neigetsu, a Japanese Calligraphy Designer and Artist, who adapted the ‘1,000 character Poem’ into ‘One Hundred Character Poem – Life is beautiful’ and her young students, which I found amazing.

We have studied the ‘100 characters poem’ with Tirza during the year and shared our thoughts about it, wrote it in 5 different ways (Tensho, Kaisho,Gyosho, Sosho etc.) , just like Neigetsu prepared it for us.
We were received with excitement and curiosity by the young children who were eager to collaborate with us and show us how they write the poem.

It was quite a different type of experience. Here we are, all of us over the age of thirty, writing Shodo with young Japanese children in their language! We, who started studying at a late age (most of us started after our thirties), and here are young children learning Shodo at such an early age! We felt blessed and loved at that event. We spent a whole afternoon with Neigetsu and her students, writing the ‘100 characters Poem’ together, transferring our happy and loving energies from our hearts to the paper.