So far the most exciting part of my studies has been my traditional arts classes. Monday was Calligraphy which is very similar to Sumi-e painting. We were taught about the materials used, the brushes and types of animal hair used and how to rub the ink stick on the stone with water to make the ink. The lecture was completely in Japanese but I was able to get the gist of it. So far we are simply getting used to working with the brush but hopefully I'll have something decent to show after a few classes.
The other part of the class which is on Thursdays is the Kimono class. Also in Japanese, the teacher was really pleasant and fun to listen to. She described the differences between winter versus summer kimono (two layers of silk for winter, one layer of thinner silk for spring) and the cotton yukata used in summer. Four of us were chosen to model the different types of kimono, myself included. My kimono was a silk summer kimono and was most expensive one worn by the class, I believe she said it cost what would be about $3000. The fabrics were gorgeous and I really enjoyed myself. I can't believe I got to wear a silk Kimono in Japan!!!