Twice a year, in January to celebrate the New Year and in July to celebrate Tanabata, we do special, long-form calligraphy assignments. For more advanced students (i-kyu and above), these are the times of year when promotions happen.

These are also the times that awards are given - copper, silver, gold, special, and masters prizes. While I don’t know how many are given out of each, it is an organization-wide contest.

In 5 years of being a member of Nihon Shuji, I’ve won 3 masters, 1 special, 5 gold, 5 silver, and 2 copper prizes. This most recent competition, I took masters for my kanji piece (the long one, on the left), and silver for kana. I was also promoted to go-dan for kanji, and sho-dan for kana.

I’m most proud of the kana (image below), as it’s a newer subject for me and has been harder for me to improve.

The two images at the bottom are the certificates given for the awards.