Sunday, October 28, 2012

chateau de davidson

This is the birthday etegami I made for my daughter who has a birthday this week. She was born in 1978, and her name means "princess."

Thursday, October 25, 2012


This one is for my son. He is currently absorbed in reading Moby-Dick, the "Great American Novel" by Herman Melville. It's heavy stuff, but has plenty of material to inspire etegami.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

illustration friday (sky)

the words are from the poem of the same title by Emily Dickinson, which starts out:

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

illustration friday (water)

Mizuko (literally: water child) are unborn babies that have died as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. Mizuko kuyō is a Japanese Buddhistic* memorial rite practiced for the peace of the souls of these babies. The reasons many people in Japan request this rite may include parental grief, desire to comfort the baby's soul, or fear of retribution from the baby's spirit.

The mizuko are often represented by small stone statues of Jizo (the guardian of children and travelers), accessorized with various bits of clothing and toys. These commonly include bibs, caps, and pinwheels to keep the souls warm and entertained. Bibs and caps will often be red, perhaps because red looks warm, or perhaps because the Japanese word for red (aka) is part of the common Japanese word for baby (akachan).

If you live or travel in Japan, you are sure to have come across these stone statues along the roadside, in both urban and rural areas. They often sit alone under a small roofed shelter at a crossroad, but they can also be in groups of hundreds or thousands, especially in the courtyards of temples that specialize in Mizuko kuyō rites.

*the reason I call the rite "Buddhistic" rather than "Buddhist," is because there is some question as to its place in historical Buddhism.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

snake-themed etegami call

The November issue of the Etegami Fun Club newsletter has gone out to all who have signed up for it so far. If you signed up and can't find it in your mailbox, let me know. Readers who have not yet signed up, and want to know how to do so, should check out the original post.

Everyone, whether you're getting the newsletter or not, is welcome to submit to a Snake-themed etegami call in celebration of  2013, the Year of the Snake (Oriental zodiac). Submissions will be posted in the January newsletter, which is scheduled to come out in mid-December. Here are the details of the call:

Etegami Call:
Rules: Your submission must be hand- drawn on a 10 cm x 15 cm (4”x 6”) postcard. The subject should be one or more snakes on a plain, unpainted background. No digital art or photographs this time around, but other than that, use whatever technique you choose. The image on the card must be accompanied by a few words to qualify as etegami. Avoid the stereotypical New Years greeting if you can, but if you can't, that is all right too.

Send it in an envelope to: Dosankodebbie, Hiragishi 2-11-1-22, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo 062-0932 JAPAN. Submissions much reach me by December 1 if you want to be sure they'll get into the January newsletter. Images and words must be G-rated. Submissions can not be returned. I REALLY look forward to seeing what you come up with. :D

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

departures (2)

 The cattail (bulrush) begins its journey
 The susuki (Miscanthus sinensis) begins its journey