CONTRIBUTED BY MONETTE EAMES
A little swish of the brush here, a little swish there, and maybe a slight smile looking thing on the page. Whenever I watch my students practicing writing kanji and hiragana, pure amazement comes over me, making me want to teach myself whatever they’re doing. A year ago, I was on a mission, a mission like so many others that I’ve had. I went on Amazon, got some books, went on YouTube, watched some videos, then headed to the 100 Y store for some notebooks. The first self-taught lesson happened right after the kids were in bed. I did great! However the next few nights weren’t as successful. In fact, I failed miserably. It wasn’t easy at all. In fact, my fingers would tremble, trying to make the characters perfect. Oh, well. Life goes on.
A year later… We have been to the Salt Factory place a few times, but this time, we discovered a new shop called Adan Farm. Stepping inside reignited my desire to learn how to do Japanese characters. This shop focused on the Adan plant or the Island Pandanus which is found in the coastal areas of Okinawa. Okinawans consider the Adan fruits very valuable and offer them to their ancestors in family graves. Its sacredness among Okinawan people led to the creation of the Adan Calligraphy Brush. According to a flyer the shop gives out, the Adan calligraphy brush contains no animal fur and is therefore, untainted. The brush is made from the resilient fibers of the Adan’s roots and fruits.
You can make paper, make your own calligraphy brushes and even practice your calligraphy here. There were many types of Adan brushes available for sale. When we were there, the owner gave us free paper and encouraged us to try out their brushes. The prices to make your own creations are as follows:
Make your own Adan Brush:
1,000 to 2, 000 for 15-30 minutes
You can make 2 or 3 brushes
1,000 for 30 minutes
You can make about 6 pieces of paper
The owner is also the owner of Calligraphy Brush Company in Kadena Town. He plans on creating more things from the Adan plant like soaps and fans.
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Directions: Proceed on Highway 58 towards Nago. Take a left onto Route 6 at the Iramina intersection in Yomitan (Lawson at corner), and head straight for about 7 kilometers. Turn left at the Y-shaped road (Town Plaza Kanehide supermarket on left side), and then onto the road that leads to the ocean. Drive about 700 meters until you reach our sign. (From the Gala Website)