Friday, November 28, 2008

Kanji book, wearable art, and p. 56 game

The Page 56 Game.
I found this on another blog and immediately forgot the blog's name--I'll list it next time I visit.

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall (huh? I don't know what she means.)
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Well heck, I'm at the computer and on the floor is A Graceful Farewell, Putting Your Affairs in Order by Maggie Watson. I've been meaning to get to it ever since I talked my folks into doing just that. Thank goodness I pressured them, obviously my intuition was right. Anyhow my sentence isn't too scintillating: Who manages the rental?

So how about the second-closest book? I've had this one sitting here waiting for me to review it for quite some time. I was so excited when I found it: Designing with Kanji, Japanese Character Motifs for Surface, Skin, and Spirit by Shugo Oketani & Leza Lowitz. The fifth sentence comes from their Kanji facts on that page: Women spent their time perfecting their skills in their native language and as a result produced great works of literature like The Tale of Genji. This sentence appears on a page that shows the ideogram for "self." (Apparently the men of the period were busy learning a new language written in kanji so they didn't get around to great lit.)

I bought this book thinking it would help me translate the text we find on so many fabrics. I haven't had any luck understanding what's there, but so far the best use of this book is in making your own stamps or silk screens depicting what you want to say in kanji. And that is no small value--imagine it on your next piece of wearable art--down the front band, on the upper back, covering the yoke in overlapping designs/different sizes, etc. etc. I'm delighted to have found this book! The publisher, located in Berkeley, has a website: I've scanned in the cover of this book for you. I'm still chicken to play with the html and move the photo but will experiment soon. Cheers!

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