The Hobart

Drawing a Link Between Tasmania and Japan

by Dr Emerald L King
Drawing a Link Between Tasmania and Japan

This is a story of two families, two sisters; told between travel, break ups, weddings, births, changes in jobs, and lifestyle.

Jun Yamaguchi first came to Tasmania twenty years ago. She fell in love instantly with the island’s starlit skies, fresh berries, and open spaces.

In 2004 Jun travelled to Hobart on a short stay language study exchange programme between the University of Tasmania and her university in Japan, Kinjo Gakuin. During this trip she stayed with a homestay family in South Hobart.

At the same time that Jun was on homestay in South Hobart with the King family, their daughter was on a year-long exchange at Kinjo Gakuin University as part of the University of Tasmania’s ongoing exchange program.

Emerald King performing sansankudo at Jun’s wedding

The first time the girls met wouldn’t be until Jun returned to Japan at the end of her Hobart trip. However, one night the King’s daughter called home with a bad cold. Jun immediately asked for permission to call her parents in Japan and arranged for her mother to drop off food and medicine. In this way, each girl would meet the other’s family before they met each other.

These interactions would tie the two families together and this month, Jun is finally bringing her mother and her own two daughters to her “Tasmanian home” to meet her family here.

Jun comes from a calligraphy dynasty and is a licenced calligraphy sensei and a published calligrapher. Her family’s work has been recognised nationally. Her grandfather wrote talismans and holy scrolls for temples throughout Nagoya. In 2020 her father was recognised as the most outstanding calligrapher in his style of Japanese calligraphy at a ceremony in Tokyo with representatives of the imperial household present.

Jun specialises in detailed, beautiful brush characters in the classical style dating to the Heian period (794-1185). She also creates dynamic calligraphy performances using massive brushes and giant pieces of paper. Jun has staged these performances around Japan, as well as in Western Australia and Tasmania.

Jun writing calligraphy at her wedding

For her own wedding, Jun gave a calligraphy performance with a large mop sized brush and a giant tub of black ink while wearing a white wedding gown. Her husband of no more than half an hour’s first duty was to hold her skirts out of the way as she wrote three metre characters of hope and prosperity.

For Jun, bringing her daughters to Tasmania and showing them and her mother the place that she fell in love with, is dream come true. Her itinerary includes picnicking at the Botanical Gardens, penguin watching, going up to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, and star gazing at night.

While in Tasmania, Jun will host a free lunchtime calligraphy demonstration for university and students of Japanese, and an evening workshop and demonstration where participants will pay a nominal fee to cover all of their brush, ink, and paper. This will take place on 5 March, hosted by University of Tasmania Communities in the “old” Studio Theatre on the Sandy Bay campus. Bookings via eventbrite.

Love this

Close
Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
Magazine
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
June 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!