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Try the art of Japanese Calligraphy

Listed under Arts, Crafts & Cookery in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Photo of Try the art of Japanese Calligraphy
  • Photo of Try the art of Japanese Calligraphy
  • Photo of Try the art of Japanese Calligraphy
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Photo of Try the art of Japanese Calligraphy
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Shodō - Japanese calligraphy, literally the ‘way of writing’ - has been described as “controlled explosions on paper”. It is a sophisticated and beautiful art. Kanji, the Chinese characters drawn, combine sound and meaning with visual aesthetics. The earliest kanji were based on abstractions of the world. Yet shodō does not only operate on a superficial and representative level. It draws on some of the most important principles underlying traditional Japanese culture. It’s not just enough to have a steady hand. After immense effort and practice, one should be able to stop fixating on technique and instead act instinctively with a clear, focused mind. As Takuan Sōhō, the renowned Zen Buddhist priest, wrote, “Not stopping the mind is object and essence”.

There are several schools of shodō, each with their own distinctive style. A trained eye can detect infinitesimally small and subtle variations and marks that individuate the works of masters. For those who just want to dip their toes (or more likely, brushes) into the water while visiting Japan, H.I.S. Experience Japan runs taster courses, with English interpreters on hand to assist.

Written by  Joseph.

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