Oshogatsu — Japanese New Year — is a big celebration in which friends and family get together to share wishes for a healthy and happy year and to participate in a variety of activities and celebrations. Kakizome, the writing of the first calligraphy of the new year, is traditionally held on January 2nd in Japan when people write auspicious words and phrases with calligraphy brush and ink.
Click on “View Gallery” in the right sidebar to see photos of kakizome demonstrations.
At this year’s Oshogatsu celebration at the Portland Japanese Garden, calligraphy master Sekko Daigo and six of her students performed kakizome while many guests watched. Sekko Daigo began pursuing the art of calligraphy in 1970 and has received many prestigious awards from calligraphy art societies in Japan. She currently teaches classes at her Japanese calligraphy school in Portland.
At the event, guests were able to try kakizome with help from volunteer instructors. The guests also enjoyed Japanese tea and snacks and played Fukuwarai, a traditional Japanese game.
If you are interested in participating in the Japanese New Year’s celebration, it’s not too late. A Mochitsuki event will be held on Sunday, January 29 in Portland and you can celebrate the new year with Japanese-American traditions. Watch mochitsuki (pounding of rice into sticky rice cakes), enjoy performances by various local artists including Sekko Daigo, koto player Mitsuki Dazai, Portland Taiko, Japanese classical dancer Sahomi Tachibana and more.
Go See It!
- When: Sunday, January 29, 11am-4pm
- Where: Scottish Rite Center, 1512 SW Morrison St., Portland
- Tickets: Visit the Mochitsuki Portland website for details