Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
Arts and Crafts
-
Entertainment
-
Etiquette
-
Food
-
History
-
Language
-
Photo Gallery
-
Religion
-
Tradition

Home - Arts and Crafts
Japanese calligraphy

Calligraphy (shodo: "the way of writing") is the art of writing beautifully. Most children learn calligraphy in elementary school. It is a popular hobby among adults, too.

A calligraphy set consists of:

  • Shitajiki: Black, soft mat. It provides a comfortable, soft surface.
  • Bunchin: Metal stick to weight down the paper during writing.
  • Hanshi: Special, thin calligraphy paper.
  • Fude: Brush. There is a larger brush for writing the main characters and a smaller one for writing the artist's name. The small brush, however, can be used for the characters, too.
  • Suzuri: Heavy black container for the ink.
  • Sumi: Solid black material that must be rubbed in water in the suzuri to produce the black ink which is then used for writing. Of course, "instant ink" in bottles is also available.

Unlike the strokes of Roman letters, the strokes of Japanese characters have to be drawn in the correct order, not arbitrarily. When you learn Chinese characters, you draw one stroke after the other. This is called the square (Kaisho) style of writing kanji.

This style of writing kanji, however, is rarely used in everyday life. Instead, there are two faster styles of writing, in which the kanji become a little bit less legible, just like when writing Roman letters in a fast way. These two styles are called semi cursive (gyosho) and cursive (sosho).


Kaisho:
Square style

Gyosho:
Semi cursive style

Sosho:
Cursive style

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
October 21
Bandai
more reports...

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: May 8, 2005
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising