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Mainichi Hanafuda: rain man

The subject of the "rain man" willow card is Ono-no Tofu, the founder of Japanese style calligraphy. Unfortunately, no examples of his kana (Japanese phonetic script) calligraphy are extant, and only a few kanji (Chinese script) works are positively attributed to him. Perhaps this is not surprising, since he lived over 1,000 years ago.

So what does a calligrapher have to do with willow trees and frogs? The story, as I gather, is that Ono-no Tofu once observed a frog jumping again and again to reach a willow sprig. Inspired by its continuous efforts to climb the tree, Ono-no Tofu realized the importance of daily practice in calligraphy.

Before I read about all that, I just thought it was a dancing frog. The frog makes me smile.

1 comment:

Parsa said...

Ono biography: