JEDDAH: Japanese calligrapher Yoshimi Fujii is conducting workshops at the Anime Village in City Walk Jeddah, offering participants the chance to learn more about different Japanese art forms.
Fujii, who has achieved the highest level in the Japanese form of calligraphy known as suihou, is based in Dubai and is making her second trip to the Kingdom.
“I’m thrilled to receive an invitation to come here (Saudi Arabia) and teach people of Jeddah the Japanese calligraphy and art of manga (Japanese comic),” she said.
Fujii conducted similar calligraphy workshops and a live show during the Riyadh Season on her first trip.
With a warm smile on her face, she explained to participants how to write in Japanese using traditional calligraphy brushes and special Japanese ink.
“Each line is made with one stroke only,” she said, adding: “Don’t redo it or try to fill the gaps.”
She told Arab News: “Seeing how Saudis love anime and manga, I wanted to show them that we have more art forms to offer, such as calligraphy.”
Fujii said she is enjoying the reactions of the participants, even when they get confused about which direction to start writing in Japanese, which is from top to bottom, unlike Arabic, which is written from right to left.
The workshop is conducted three times a day to allow a large number of visitors to take part.
Rana Alnemari, 21, said that she loved Japanese culture and wanted to learn to write her name in Japanese characters.
“The new characters of the Japanese alphabet really caught my interest and I really had fun learning something new today,” she said. “I might even take professional courses for Japanese calligraphy in the future.”
Wejdan Alomari, 22, said that she joined the calligraphy workshop because she was intrigued by the Japanese writing style.
Seeing how Saudis love anime and manga, I wanted to show them that we have more art forms to offer, such as calligraphy.
Yoshimi Fujii, Japanese calligrapher
“It feels more like a drawing than simple writing,” she said.
Rana Alsaimi, 22, told Arab News that these types of workshops give her an opportunity to try new things like “using traditional Japanese brush to write instead of a calligraphy pen.”
Next week, Fujii will conduct another workshop about traditional Japanese origami, the art of making different shapes out of paper.
Participants will learn how to make Pokemon shapes using origami techniques.