Japanese writing desk


I selected this photo because it represents a different perspective from my primarily western-influenced education. This is actually a photo that I took a couple of years ago when I first moved to Japan and began to explore my new neighbourhood. One thing I’ve discovered since living here is an idea of harmony and balance in very simple things, including writing. Calligraphy is held in high regard as an important art in Japan, which stands in stark contrast to the techno-crazed image that many have of modern Japan.

I’m really looking forward to this course – it’s a refreshing break in my mind from many of the other courses in the MET program, and as an international school librarian, it’s one that is directly relevant to my work.

Looking forward to discussing and learning with you all.

Brian Farrell

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3 Responses to Japanese writing desk

  1. Al Davidson says:


    Nice image. I am interested to hear more about the contrasting ideas of image and reality in Japan. Do you observe both the ‘hi-tech plugged in’ and ‘harmonistic simplicty’ images of Japan?

    I read an interesting article in the Globe & Mail yesterday about changing times for Japan’s elderly people that challenged their cultural value of reverence for the elderly.

  2. blamb says:

    Love the textures and the play of light in this image.

  3. iirene says:

    Hi Brian,

    Your photo shows one side of one the great paradoxes in Japanese society– the perservation of tradition amongst modernity. How many hours do students spend writing and memorizing those characters and perfecting those strokes? Yet as adults, most soon forget how to write because they no longer need to practice and with the Japanese keyboard, there is no need to remember each character.

    All the images of “lines” in your photo, could be like that task in elementary school detention, of writing the same sentence, over and over again!


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