A young Nelson woman is thought to be the first Westerner in the world ever admitted to a Japanese calligraphy school.
Under the watchful eye of Akiko Crowther, 19-year-old Tomica Saunders has been learning Japanese calligraphy since her parents gifted her a lesson for her 14th birthday.
"The closest word I can find for it is Zen-like. I get really focused and I find it really peaceful and calming," says Ms Saunders.
What started as a hobby looks set to become a career with news Ms Saunders has been awarded a scholarship to study full-time in a Japanese calligraphy school for two years.
"It is very daunting, I mean, I haven't even left home. Most people when they leave home they move to another city, I'm moving to the other side of the world where they don't speak the same language as me."
And there's added pressure – Ms Saunders' study abroad won't only be a first for her, it will also be a first for the ancient art which dates back more than 3500 years.
Ms Crowther says as far as she knows, Ms Saunders is the first Westerner to ever be accepted into a Japanese calligraphy school, which is quite an achievement.
Ms Saunders says she fell in love with the discipline and concentration needed for calligraphy.
"With the rise of modern culture sometimes the traditional stuff gets lost a little and it's really nice to be able to carry that on and be part of that."
At the end of her two-year study she'll become a calligraphy master and hopes to go from student to teacher.
source: newshub archive