US first lady learns calligraphy at Japanese primary school

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2017 4:35 AM
US first lady learns calligraphy at Japanese primary school

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. first lady Melania Trump tried her hand Monday at Japanese calligraphy at a Tokyo elementary school.

She visited the Kyobashi Tsukiji school with her Japanese counterpart, Akie Abe. About 300 children welcomed them with a school song.

Trump wrote the first character of the Japanese word for "peace," as Abe wrote the second.

After Trump's first stroke, a girl student sitting next to her advised her to hold the brush vertically and explained the order of the strokes.

"Yes?" Trump asked later as she turned to her instructor. The student gave a nod of approval, smiling.

The two first ladies, both wearing navy blue dresses, posed for photos, shook hands and exchanged high fives with the school children.

The children were shy at first, but as Trump lowered herself and greeted them, many hands rose up, trying to hold her hands.

School principal Takefumi Ukitsu said the school was chosen for the visit because it picked America as part of a study project for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics.

Saul Alinsky Does the Supreme Court
Jerry Newcombe

Trump is accompanying her husband, President Donald Trump, on his first Asian tour, which began in Japan.

On Sunday, the two first ladies heard about the history of cultivated pearls at a jewelry shop in downtown Tokyo and joined their husbands for a private dinner at a Japanese steak house.


Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at

Find her work at