2013 Kakizome by Patricia Larkin Green
My 2013 Kakizome is on the upper left. 自由の鳥closely meaning free as a bird…
Kakizome (書き初め, literally “first writing”) is a Japanese term for the first calligraphy written at the beginning of a year, traditionally on January 2. Other terms include 吉書（kissho）, 試筆（shihitsu）and 初硯（hatsusuzuri）.
Traditionally, kakizome was performed using ink rubbed with the first water drawn from the well on New Year’s Day. Seated facing a favourable direction, people would write Chinese poetry containing auspicious words and phrases such as long life, spring, or perennial youth. These poems were then often burned.