Elephant Ryuka does first calligraphy of the year

Elephant Ryuka does first calligraphy of the year

On January 2, the Indian elephant Ryuka delicately wrote this year's Chinese zodiac sign, the sheep, in kanji at the Okinawa Zoo & Museum.


January 3, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 2, a New Year’s Festival was held at the Okinawa Zoo & Museum in the Goya district of Okinawa City. Popular Indian elephant Ryuka has performed kakizome, or first calligraphy of the year. She dexterously wrote sheep, this year’s Chinese zodiac sign, in kanji, holding a special customized giant calligraphy brush with her trunk. Visitors to the zoo enjoyed her performance.

The Yonaguni horse, sheep, and goat appeared on stage. The zoo staff transferred a sash to the sheep from the horse, which was last year’s Chinese zodiac animal. A New Year’s Karuta festival was held in the open space of the zoo. Participants played with giant karuta, traditional Japanese playing cards.

Eleven-year-old Yuria Tome who watched Ryuka’s performance, said, “I have experienced writing Japanese Calligraphy. I think it was amazing for Ryuka to be able to write kanji. I would like to make this year happy.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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