Kakizone or Kakizome literally means “first writing”. It is specially for the first calligraphy written at the beginning of a year. It is celebrated on January 2.
Kakizone traditionally used ink made with the first water drawn from the well on New Year’s Day. People would sit in front of statues of Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar, poet, and politician from the Heian Period of Japan. Short poetry about spring, good luck wishes, and resolutions were typically written.
The calligraphy was then burned during Sagichō, the fire festival. If the ashes were carried high up into the air, the writer would have improved calligraphic writing over the year.
Today, children are usually assigned kakizone for homework over the winter break.
image courtesy of Tarunpant, Wikipedia.org