Take advantage of the many programs offered—FREE!—at your local branch of the Portage County District Library. There are all kinds of them, something for nearly everybody . Cooks and bakers, craftspersons and sporting types, book discussion aficionados, artist of all sorts, teens, seniors, little ones…keep an eye out for what will be offered at your particular branch and all of them in the county—Aurora, Garrettsville, Streetsboro, Windham, affiliated Reed in Ravenna and Kent Free—for an activity that appeals to you, sign up and go; most are free or low-cost. They’re all interesting in one way or another.
For example, recently at the Garrettsville branch Haruhide Osugi (not an Irish guy, right?), Japanese Outreach Co-ordinator from KSU, presented a beginner’s project on Japanese calligraphy which was presented to a packed house of brave souls willing to wield a brush in pursuit of a broadened cultural horizon. He briefly told of the development of Japanese script—Sho-do (from Sho—writing, and Dou—path), from its arrival from China, accompanying Buddhism in the 7th century, through the creation of three separate forms (Hiragana—sound-based, Katakana—for foreign words, and Kanji—ideographic, symbol-for-idea) and instruction in modern Japanese schools. It is used in many art forms as well as everyday writing.
He brought with him explanation of the writing tools sufficient for all of the would-be artists. These included the fude—brush, the mizu-sashi—charcoal, suzuri—ink stone, shitajaki—underlay, hanshi—paper and bunchin—weight (to hold the paper down), accompanying demonstrations and explanations of how they all were to be employed.