Japanese Calligraphy(Shodo: The way of writing)
is practiced through the centuries by Samurai. Today, practicing Shodo is still admired an very popular among Japanese people.
We have a saying
“Ji wa taiwo arawasu”
means “Your handwriting represents you”.
Japanese people are custom to respect people who have a beautiful handwriting.
This is why the Shodo lessons are still very popular for children to take in after-school classes even though most children already learn calligraphy in elementary school. It is also a popular hobby among adults as it takes decades to master, I suppose its similar to the martial arts training.
Children are able to learn not only beautiful writing but the history of each word, gain concentration and courtesy.
Most Basic Tools for Shodo
◉A brush(筆fude)The brushes come in various shapes and sizes and are usually made using animal hair for the bristles. Typical animal hair may come from goats, sheep, horse-hair, etc. The handle may be made from wood, bamboo, plastic or other materials.
◉An Ink(墨Sumi)During preparation, water is poured into the inkstone and the ink stick is ground against it, mixing the water with the dried ink to liquefy it. As this is a time-consuming process, modern-day calligraphy provides liquid ink in a bottle called Bokuju (墨汁 bokujū) and is frequently used by beginners.
◉A paper weight(bunchin) to hold the paper in place.
◉Cloth(Shitajiki) to place under the paper (often newsprint is used as well) to prevent ink from bleeding through.
Japanese school children buy these basic Shuji set to begin with. Very neat and pretty ones available nowadays.
◉The Water Shodo set. These are great for the beginners and kids as you can practice with water without worrying about getting dirty by the black ink.
There are some schools or cultural centers welcome visitors to try Shodo.(I will list a few below)
Normally, you don’t need any equipment at each school provides them.
It would be a great experience in Japan.
You can keep your writing for memories, put it in a nice frame and hang it when you go home.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Schools for Shodo Trial
BOJ Inc. (Beauty of Japan Tours)
Accept kids over age 6.
7,250 yen(1 hour) per person (2 persons and more: 4,650 yen per person)
Japanese Calligraphy Shibuya Shinjuku(Mr. Miyazaki)
Accept kids of any age if they can focus on writing.
3,000yen (1.5 hours) per person
Accept kids over 6 (Negotiable)
5,000yen per person(3~5 person group 14,000yen)