Matsuri 2011

Recent Updates

The pride and joy of the Santa Fe JIN group is the annual matsuri (festival) held each year in downtown Santa Fe. With over 5000 people attending last year's matsuri, this year's matsuri is expected to be a huge success.

We hope that you'll join us for this year's matsuri, and while we know that it's a ways off, March will be here before we know it. Committees have already started to make their preparations, and could certainly use your help! If you'd like to do more than just attend the 2011 matsuri, consider being a volunteer. It's an opportunity to be a part of something truly exceptional and to see a side of Japanese cultural in Santa Fe that you'll never forget!

Japan Aid of Santa Fe Fund

Santa Fe JIN has started a fund to help the people of Japan in this great time of need.

More information about the fund and how to send support to it can be found on the home page.

2011 Matsuri

Santa Fe JIN (Japanese Intercultural Network) celebrates the art and history of Calligraphy in our seventh Japanese Cultural Festival scheduled to be held April 2nd, 2011, at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Performances will include guest appearances by:

We hope that you will join us for a day of fun and excitement!

This year there will be an admission fee for the event -- $2 per person over 12. All others are free.



Japanese writing styles include both kanji and kana. Kanji are ideograms (characters that represent things or ideas), that came to Japan from China more than 1,500 years ago. These characters have been used in China for more than 3,000 years and have become popular now all over the world as graphic art forms. Kana were born from Kanji about 1,400 years ago as an adaptation for the Japanese language. Kana further developed into the modern Japanese writing systems called katakana (used for foreign words) and hiragana (used for native words). Nowadays, there are 6 types of writing styles, with kaisho as the standard.

Japanese calligraphy uses 7 basic tools, which are brush, paper, ink, ink stone, paperweight, desk pad, and stamp. The most important tool is the brush. Selecting a brush depends on many things, including the calligrapher’s feeling. Brushes are most often made out of animal hair, but may also be made out of feathers or dried grasses. The size, thickness, and shape of the characters produced by the brush vary according to its physical composition as well as the artistic sense of the calligrapher. Most paper is made of fiber of trees such as the oriental paperbush, gambit, or kouzo. The stamp acts as a signature, even though many calligraphers have several types of stamps. The selection of a stamp depends on size, writing style, and the calligrapher’s sentiment. The stamps are made by calligraphers, so making one's stamp is a part of the art of calligraphy.

Even though most Japanese people study calligraphy at the elementary school level (and occasionally middle and high school levels), few people have the skill to take calligraphy to the degree of an art. Even master calligraphers continue to practice and study, as calligraphers are always reaching for perfection in each brush stroke.