News: Start New Year with new hobby
Story by Lance Cpl. James Smith
IWAKUNI, Japan - January is not only the first month of the new year, but also National Hobby Month. What better way to start off the new year than with a brand new hobby?
The Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Library is hosting a New Year New Hobby program for the month of January. Sarah Fisher, a former member of the library, was the one who initially thought of the idea. The program offers four classes, one a week, on a certain activity.
“The idea for New Year New Hobby was to have something fun to get people into the library and introduce new hobbies,” said Stacey Kobe-Bellika, supervisory librarian. “Our mission in the library is to inspire personal growth and enhance the lives of all our patrons.”
Kobe-Bellika also said that the program mainly targets teens and adults, but they host many other events at the library for kids.
The classes station residents can participate in include: playing card games, calligraphy, scrapbooking and making origami charms. Residents who have little to no experience in these topics are highly encouraged to join.
“I’m going to probably make a fool out of myself trying to do some calligraphy,” said Elle Watson, station resident and participant in the calligraphy class. “I’ve heard it’s all the about stroke order in order to make the letters correctly, but I’ve never written Kanji.”
Watson was one of 10 participants in the calligraphy night held at the library in Building 411, Jan. 10, 2013.
Nami Yamamoto, Youth Cultural Program coordinator, was the instructor with 13 years of experience in calligraphy.
Yamamoto instructed the class on supplies needed to perform calligraphy, how to properly hold brushes and execute proper brush strokes.
“It was very formal and based on tradition, just like a lot of the stuff I noticed in Japan,” said Watson. “I wasn’t very good at it, but it was a really new experience, interesting for sure and I would do it again.”
Granted, students won’t become experts after a two-hour class, but it gives them the opportunity to try something different.
The next available class is origami charm making, held Jan. 24 at 6:00 p.m. There is no restriction as to who can participate.