Stuttgart, Germany—Japanese calligraphy, music, origami and cuisine were presented at a cultural afternoon held by UPF.

Decorations of intricate, hand-painted calligraphy and a recording of Japanese koto (a vaulted 13-string zither) music set the atmosphere for the gathering held on August 6, 2023, in the Stuttgart UPF offices.

Hubert Arnoldi, the leader of the local UPF chapter, welcomed the guests and offered a few words about the origins of the Japanese language and writing.

Shodo, the Chinese calligraphy adapted by the Japanese, means “the way of writing.” Using this calligraphy to write the Kanji characters, a Shodo master expresses not simply a word or a term but also his spiritual attitude.

The guests gathered around Shodo artist Yoshiko Ito-Arnoldi, who gave an interactive demonstration of this way of writing. All were delighted to be able to draw their very own calligraphy, and at the end of the event those who wished could have their names written in calligraphy.

A Japanese women’s choir, dressed in beautiful kimonos, then entranced the audience with a traditional folk song about peace lilies (Spathiphyllum).

To round off the event, the guests experienced Japanese cuisine in the form of sushi and the younger guests had the opportunity to be creative by folding origami figures.

A lively exchange over coffee and cake brought the successful event to an end.

(Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.)

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