This Year's Kakizome Is an Effort

The Japanese tradition of kakizome, or “first writing” typically takes place on January 2, when the Japanese sit down with their brushes and paper to write an auspicious word or phrase that embodies their wishes or resolutions for the New Year.

Last year’s word was 約束, yakusoku, the Japanese word for “promise” or “commitment.” My promise was to commit myself to studying the Japanese language and culture and to provide even better coverage of the activities within New York’s Japanese American community. 2014 was a good year, but I’m not satisfied!

I put a lot of thought into what my first writing of this New Year will be. I wanted it to be a continuation of yakusoku and a way to build on my goals. My first thought was 上首尾, jōshubi, which means “success” or “happy result.” I was afraid this sounded too selfish, though.

In order to achieve success, one must put great effort into one’s goals. With that in mind, this year’s kakizome is doryoku.

 kakizome, first writing, calligraphy, NYC, Japan, Japanese traditions, Japanese customs, writing, New Year, Happy New Year, Year of the Sheep, 2015

I will put forth great effort so that my last writing of 2015 will be jōshubi!

What was your kakizome? What word or phrase best describes your resolution for the New Year?