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"Although I enjoyed all of the morning sessions, Tanahashi, by far, had the most impact on me and many others. Every time he would walk on stage, a hush would fall over the whole crowd and he had our full attention for the hour. He taught us how to use a bamboo brush and we practiced Japanese characters and words all week. What impressed me about this man was his humility, politeness and peaceful manner. I was so relaxed after his sessions."
–Cindy Bowers, Nota Bene

"We slowly entered into a calmer, more contemplative session of Japanese brush calligraphy as taught by Kaz. I found him to be absolutely delightful–a master storyteller as well as a master calligrapher. I viewed an exhibition of his work Sunday and was captivated by it. But when I revisited the exhibition on Friday, after a week of his lessons, I could really appreciate a master’s ability to maneuver a brush and in doing so make his brush speak."
–Rosemary Paulin, The Communiqué

"We experimented with making marks with huge rough brushes. The ink was poured from everyone’s bottles into a big tub. We tried small paper and large sheets. Experimenting, playing like children, admiring each other’s marks. The beauty and simplicity of black and white. What a great idea. Let me try that. Good work. The spirit of fellowship and encouragement resounded in the room. Watch out for the floor. Masterpieces made in a moment. No failure, just celebration. The room overflowing with creations. Someone noticed that the best work came when we were not trying to design something. Just let it flow out of you. Be surprised. Have fun."
–Amy Sprague, Friends of Calligraphy Newsletter

"Each of us was operating without ego-driven protectiveness toward our work. The classroom held the air of exciting discovery in which each member played a part. In the course of a very few days a room full of strangers had become almost intimate friends. Some of us have put our brushwork to use in our lives and work already. Others may not have, but nevertheless carry the experience with us in ways that may be more important than ink on paper."
–John Langdon, NEWSoS

"My contact with Oriental calligraphy and Kaz were simultaneous milestones for me. I don’t think any other person and art form have so significantly influenced my artwork."
–Mario Uribe, Alphabet


Kaz introduced Chinese/Japanese characters to the class. He provided insightful instruction on how to reproduce the characters. These characters include: to enjoy, mindful, to turn, vital, and nothing. An afternoon doing "nothing" involved much more confidence than I thought.
With each character, Kaz would have us practice, then he would invite each student up and he would guide the student's hand as he made the character. This guidance made the rhythm and "pressure and release" required to make each character come alive for each student.
The class provided both humor in the form of Kaz's dry wit, and philosophy during discussions on achieving "breakthroughs."
–Steven Grayson, EXPERIMENT: The Twentieth International
Conference of Letter Art (Conference report)

 

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