Almost Ready to Begin


At the last shuji (習字) class of each month we brush out a clean copies of our model works. Every month, except July and December, I can submit two pieces of work. Those two months we only submit one work because we work on the large scroll-sized gasenshi (画仙紙). Last month I skipped the last class of the month, because I was feeling run down.

Every week the teacher makes us sign our best works and turn them in to her. In the event that we miss the last class of the month, she can send in our previous weeks works for evaluation.

A month later, evaluated works get returned at the end of the month, along with the models and newsletters for the next month. That is to say ‘officially’ they get returned at the end of the month; in actuality they usually arrive a week earlier, so the teacher can process them before returning them to us. This month they came back very early… today the teacher gave me a little news.

In my July 28th post I mentioned that my work for July was not good enough to advance. Today I found out that I was mistaken, I have now advanced to jun-shodan (準初段). I can’t see the work until the 25th, but at least I know I have moved up. This point marks the transition between the two sets of levelskyuu (級) and dan (段) – and is the result of long study and practice.

Although jun-shodan requires a long of time and effort, it can be translated as “pre-beginning level”. Whenever I think about that it amuses me, “After more than two years of study, I am almost ready to begin.” Another little amusing point is that we have to write our current level on works that we submit; and jun-shodan is the hardest to write – I guess I need to advance quickly to spare some trouble.

If I advance again, I reach the level where official licensing and certification begins. I will write more about cost and procedures when the time comes.


3 Responses to “Almost Ready to Begin”

  1. Waiting to Look at My Own Work « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] to Look at My Own Work On the 11th I found out that I reached junshodan (準初段). In twelve hours I will get a look at the work. […]

  2. Bonafide Brush-wielding Black Belt « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] July I have been in no man’s land between kyuu and dan. My rank was jun-shodan (準初段). Jun is a prefix meaning sub- or pre-. Technically, they aren’t ranks in and of […]

  3. Show Dawn « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] west part of Shinmachi. My rank when I wrote this was jun shodan (準初段) which I translated as pre-beginning level in a previous post, but it really indicates a half step before becoming a black belt. My name is […]

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