Thursday, October 02, 2008

inkan


Here's my first "art" inkan (personal seal ~ my 'signature'). I have another one (that's registered in Japan) that has my full last name on it in katakana, and I have to use it when I "sign" for important things. This inkan, however, only includes part of my first name, "rei" (which is really To-RAY-shi in Japanese). This kanji for rei has to do with beauty. So, since I think beauty is such an important ideal, I thought this would be fitting.
It's carved out of stone, and reeeeeally difficult because of the tiny surface and shape of the stone. I honestly think this is a little kawaisou (pitiful), considering my previous block printing experience, but this uses completely different materials than anything I've tried before. I'm itching to go back in and carve a little bit more to make some of the lines a little stronger/thicker, but my teacher won't let me because it's so much more precious to be "imperfect"...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't tracey reply to comments anymore?

Cara said...

Ah, imperfection is precious - good thing, since that's what we all are! :-) I'm sure that topic could fill a few sessions w/Christine, in case you were in need of some discussion topics - ha!
And I think it's appropriate that your japanese 'nickname' is rei, given your big smile and "Happy" nickname from many moons ago :-)
The inkan is very cool. Does the ink color have significance, or can you use any color you wish?

Tracey said...

Dear Anonymous - can you be a little more specific? I'm sorry - I must have missed your comment (or didn't realize it needed a response).

Cara,
Yeah - funny how names work. It's actually really interesting to see all the different combinations of the syllables/meanings in Japanese. For instance, though "Tracey" doesn't exist in Japanese, "To-rei-shi" has many parts (the following is just taken right out of my dictionary):
"to" - door, "and"
"tore" - I've heard of a place here called "Tore Tore Shunya" and I think it has to do with 'just picked' seasonal produce. Which makes sense, because "toreru" is a verb for "be harvested"
"rei" - soul, zero, bow/salute, gratitude, beauty
"shi" - four, death, poem, city, teacher...
And these are just when I look up the different syllables in the dictionary. I don't actually see "rei=beauty", but I asked a teacher for her recommendation for my inkan, and this is what she said. All of these different words have different Chinese characters (kanji) to go with them, so consequently, different kanji have different readings (pronunciations) and as I said, the different sounds may have different kanji! I don't know WHY I'd have the slightest difficulty learning this language! :)
The color of the stamp is always red. Apparently it just IS. Sometimes I don't have the energy to try to figure out some of the WHYs around here :) Personally, I think the red stamp and the black ink go together quite nicely, though :)

Penquin said...

Hmmm...very kewl indeed...I'd imagine I'll be seeing this on a post card sometime in the near future ? ? ? Was this the 'class' you were referring to in your e-mail earlier today (you're Thurs. evening?)