In the regional newspaper for calligraphy work

by phillipsauve on September 15, 2010

The following is an article I was featured in from the Sanriku Shimpo, a regional newspaper in the northeastern part of the Miyagi prefecture:

(A translated version can be found below)

Japanese calligraphy article

Article from the Sanriku Shimpo, July 24th, 2010

English Teacher Reaches Sho-dan in Japanese Calligraphy

July 24, 2010

Phillip Sauvé, an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Motoyoshi, Kesennuma, recently reached sho-dan (first grade master) in Japanese calligraphy through the Japan Calligraphy Education Foundation.  He also received a license to teach elementary calligraphy.  Phillip is captivated by Japan’s traditional arts.  Even though he will retire from the ALT position and leave Motoyoshi next week on July 26th, he says he would like to continue practicing Japanese calligraphy after he returns to America.

Phillip was appointed the ALT of the former town of Motoyoshi in August of 2007.  In addition to teaching English at the town’s kindergartens, elementary, and junior high schools for the past three years, he also deepened his cultural exchange by partaking in the basketball club activities at the junior high schools.

He began learning Japanese calligraphy around October of 2008.  “While I was living in Japan, I wanted to learn one of Japan’s traditional arts,” said Phillip.  He started going to local calligraphy master Tetsuo Sato’s calligraphy classes once a week.

At first his goal was to learn a part of traditional Japanese culture, but he steadily became completely absorbed in calligraphy and decided to challenge himself within the Japan Calligraphy Education Foundation’s level ranking system.   After only a year and eight months of practicing Japanese calligraphy he has reached the sho-dan level, as well as attained a teaching license to teach Japanese calligraphy to beginner level elementary students.

His final practice before leaving Motoyoshi was on July 21st.  He completed a tanabata scroll with the following characters: “泉声帯月静松影派入窓間”.  His instructor for this time, Mr. Sato, asked him about his homework, “What should you practice for next week?”  Mr. Sato said that up until now Phil is only the second ALT he has ever taught.  He had high praise for the ALTs, adding that they were both interesting, hardworking, and quick to catch on and improve.

Phillip’s favorite Japanese word is kokoro (心/mind, heart).  “I think people being able to connect with each other is the most important thing.  As an ALT I have strived to show this to the students.  Each kanji character has a deep meaning, and they combine in Japanese calligraphy to form profoundly deep-meaning phrases.”

“Motoyoshi’s children are very bright and full of energy.  I have nothing but fun and wonderful memories of them.  I want to come back and visit again someday,” he smiled and said.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

alice September 16, 2010 at 7:49 am

Wow, you are a celebrity!
You did a lot of things and got a great reputation. What a hard worker you are!
I like your philosophy in teaching – a heart connecting people.


AJ September 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

Congrats buddy, I think you are more Japanese than my fiance now.


phillipsauve September 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

Thank you. It always feels good to be recognized for the work you have done :-)


phillipsauve September 21, 2010 at 11:35 am

AJ, I’ll take that as a compliment but I don’t think that will ever happen


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