Yu Yu Japanese Calligraphy School, Nelson, New Zealand

NEWS

New classes

June 2014

Akiko started new calligraphy classes at the Hutt Minoh Friendship House in Lower Hutt, Wellington, in April 2013. Now there are classes at 3 levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Children’s class. Akiko visits Wellington for Saturday and Sunday once a month.

If you are interesting to learning calligraphy and you can come to Minoh House, please contact Miss Rosemary Mclennan, Chairperson of the Hutt Minoh Friendship Committee. 38 Normandale, Lower Hutt. Tel: (04) 586 4180 (home). Email: rmclennan@vodafone.net.nz
Or, if you are living elsewear and you want to learn calligraphy with Akiko, she will come to your place to teach. One condition is that students will have to share the cost of Akiko’s airfair or transportation every month in addition to the lessen cost. It is best to be a group with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 students. Please contact Akiko.

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Tomica Sounders, one of Akiko’s calligraphy student, is going abroad to study Japanese Calligraphy in Japan

June 2014

Tomica Sounders, 20 years old, has been accepted by the Nihon Shodou Geijyutu Senmon Gakkou (Japanese Calligraphy Art Technical School) in Japan. She passed an inspection, and received a scholarship for two years. Tomica attended an Entrance Ceremony at the School on the 10th April with Akiko in Itou in Shizuoka-Prefecture. When she finishes her two-year course she will be the first New Zealand-born Master Calligrapher.

On the 10th January Tomica was interviewed on TV3, click here to watch it (link opens in a new window).

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Happy New Year!

Tim and Akiko have had a very lovely start to 2013!

Tim's recovery is coming along very well, and he is now starting to talk fluently. He has difficulty moving though, and there's still a long way to go.

However, he has now started to paint with his left hand again! Tim & Akiko's collaborated works are being finished one by one, and we are now accepting commissions again. Please contact Akiko for more information.

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Summer School 16 - 18th January was a great success

Akiko recently participated in a three-day Summer School Workshop at Waimea College on the 16th to 18th of January. There were six professional tutors covering art journaling, creative writing, jewellery making, up-cycle sewing, painting, and Akiko's Japanese Calligraphy.

Five students attended Akiko's class; four from Nelson and one who came all the way from from Brisbane, Australia! Classes started at 10am every morning and finished at 4pm, with lunch and and tea breaks.

The first day commenced with introductions and basic brushworks. The second day was a little more difficult, and on the last day they were wrote their favorite words in the morning and made a stamp bearing their name in the afternoon. Finally, they let out a shout of joy as they stamped their work with their name stamp. Well done everyone!

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Pupils scoop global awards

The small calligraphy school of Japanese Grand Master Calligrapher Akiko Crowther has had a bumper result in the Kakizome Competition, with every entry winning a top prize in a tough field.
Out of a total of 7,794 entries, the school's 10 students won five bronze medals, two silver medals, and three highest honors awards.
Mrs. Crowther said she was proud of all her students, and had not expected them to do so well.
After her husband, Tim, suffered a stroke last year, Mrs. Crowther had to close their Yu Yu Gallery and School, and move the lessons to their house. Now that Mr. Crowther was starting to recover and the class was doing so well, things were starting to improve, she said.
"When I received this news, it looked like God and Buddha were saying, 'Don't worry, Akiko, hold up!'. So Tim and I could not stop the tears of joy," she said. As for her students' performance, that was largely a result of them following her mantra of "practice, practice, practice", she said.
Student Rintaro Yoda, nine, who won a highest honor award for his entry, has been learning calligraphy at the school for four years.
He said he enjoyed calligraphy because it was "writing with your whole body, instead of just your hand". Mrs. Crowther said Yoda had a lot of concentration.
Carys Gwynne, seven, also won a highest honors award. She said she loved "everything" about the art.

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Caligraphy lessons begin again in 2011

Akiko has started general caligraphy classes for both adults and children at their house, and she is also doing personal lessons.

Not a Nelson redident? No problem - Akiko is starting lessons via correspondence. One of Akiko's students lives in Auckland. Akiko send him monthly texts with all the required materials, and when he's finished he sends his work back to Akiko.

If you are interested in any of these lessons please contact Akiko for more information.

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Tim's recovery 2011

Tim's recovery is coming along very well. He can now walk with the aid of a walking stick, and sometimes he's able to walk around at home without one. He is also starting to speak simple sentences, and we even attended a friend's wedding party last October (photo on the right).

Thank you very much to our many friends, customers, and students who have supported and helped us through this difficult time.

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Tim's stroke and recovery 2010

In February on 2010 Tim suffered a serious stroke and was hospitalised for many weeks. Although he is now making positive steps towards recovery, we were forced to close the Yu Yu Gallery in April.

The Calligraphy School is still accepting students though, so if you are interested in lessons from New Zealand's only resident Japanese Grand Master Calligrapher please contact Akiko

   

Highest Honours in Kakizome 2009

Building on last year's great first-time Tokusen win by Yousif (see Webcam Lessons below), Akiko's young Nelson students achieved even bigger success in Tokyo in this year's Kakizome Calligraphy Competition. They won 2 Tokusen Highest Honour Awards, 2 Gold, 11 Silver and 8 Bronze Awards! Congratulations everyone - we are so proud of you all! See story in NELSON MAIL.

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Yu Yu School Still Growing

Now with over 25 young and adult students, Akiko's Calligraphy School is thriving, and the popularity of this graceful art is growing. Akiko's 2-hour Personal Lessons are also proving increasingly popular with international tourists and NZ visitors to Nelson, as a stimulating introduction to calligraphy and a very different holiday activity. Thanks to everyone who has tried it!

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Akiko's 'Four Treasures Tour'

In July Akiko leads a small group of her students on her 'Four Treasures Tour' of Japan, visiting the artisan makers of calligraphy brushes, sumi ink, traditional inkstones, and handmade washi paper. The group will also study at a big calligraphy seminar in Izu. (Report to follow in August.)

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First Webcam Calligraphy Lessons

Our 2008 Kakizome Highest Honour winner, Yousif Cahusac de Caux (9) now lives in Milton Keynes in England. Although his whole family was moving from NZ, Yousif passionately wanted to continue studying calligraphy with Akiko. So with the help of his father Derek, we set up a webcam system with Skype. Now Yousif still enjoys his weekly lesson - even though Sensei and student are 18,755 kms apart!

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Special Guest Calligrapher, Summer 2008-9

From November to January we had the great pleasure of welcoming young Master Calligrapher Aska Fukami, from Ibaraki, who was visiting NZ on a 1 year working holiday and to study English. Aska stayed with us and we even celebrated her birthday on the beach, Kiwi-style. She was very popular with all our students and customers, and we all miss her sunny smile and shining personality.Thank you Aska!

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Major Commission from New York

Akiko was deeply honoured to be invited to create the calligraphy for the cover of a new DVD boxed set of the classic Japanese film masterpiece, Ningen No Joken - The Human Condition. Our sincere thanks toThe Criterion Collection, the prestigious online cinematheque based in New York City. For details, see COMMISSIONS


The first Czech Master Calligrapher?

Will it be our former student and dear friend Petra Vitaskova - or one day, her beautiful new baby daughter Anna? We are sure she was born with a brush in her hand! Warmest congratulations and all our love to Petra and husband Jakub in Prague!

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