Japanese calligraphy: features, styles and pick

Japanese calligraphy: features, styles and pick

Japanese calligraphy – not just the ability to beautifully and purely write hieroglyphs. This is one of the favorite and popular types of art in Japan. Calligraphic work is valued as high as the works of painting and sculptures. Syodo (path of the letter) Along with Busido (War Path) and Sado (Tea Path) is one of the practices leading to the understanding of life values, which has its own philosophy and principles. In this material we briefly tell me what is ancient art and how to start practicing the way.

History of origin

The arts of the letter came to Japan allegedly from China. Samples of Chinese hieroglyphs brought to the country of the rising Sun. Buddhist monks. That is why Zen Buddhism had a huge impact on Syodo philosophy. Among the first practitioners were monks, the courtiers and themselves, the emperors who were initially carefully studied and followed by Chinese letters.

Over time, own culture and creative gusts of the masters created various non-traditional directions, a merger with his native language occurred. So Born Syo.

From the aristocracy and samurai art of calligraphy gradually spread into broad masses of the population and has become one of the favorite types of Creativity of the Japanese.

Sydo flourishes in Japan and nowadays.

Calligraphy training begins with childhood. This is a mandatory discipline in junior classes. Older disciples are trained by the art of letters at the request of the elective, like music and drawing. Among the students traditionally arrange contests, competitions, festivals, where they define the best in the letter. In the largest universities in Japan, the faculties, educational teachers and masters Art Sydo.

Syroid samples can be found everywhere. Calligraphic exhibitions are held. Images with hieroglyphs are present at the celebrations, cultural events, adorn the interiors.

Contemplation and writing of hieroglyphs – an integral part of the famous tea ceremony, whose masters, I comprehend Syodo as thoroughly as my work.


Traditionally, three main directions are distinguished in Japanese calligraphy.

  • Kaiso – Tired. Literally translates as “correct-participing”. Outlines Clear, clear, laconic. After the line, the brush necessarily breaks away from the sheet. Hieroglyphs have similarity with squares and similar to image printed symbols. This style is subject to study first.
  • Göso – Polukuriv. It is characterized by smooth, rounded, elegant lines.
  • Summer – italic. Fast, rapid, flying lines. The hieroglyphs performed in this way as artwork. Disassemble the content of the hieroglyph is often not easy to literate Japanese. In such cases, refer to experienced specialists.

Historically, different styles were used to write works in various literary genres:

  • Serious historical works set out a statute+
  • Pieces – Scroping, stretched in width and shovel from above+
  • Songs, poems – A special type of KANA cursive, characterized by a vertically elongated flowing string, sophistication and elegance of lines.

Basic principles

Studying with mastering and development of letters skills in various styles. Special attention is paid to posture, properly statement (brush capture, hand position).

Like any Japanese practice, Syo is filled with deep meaning. Fundamental principles: modesty, cleanliness and inner spiritual power.

White sheet of paper – emptiness. Black Symbols – “Yan” (Male) and “Yin” (female). Through the brush to express the beauty of the soul and at the same time get aesthetic pleasure from the process itself and contemplation of the result – the main goal. It is achieved by harmony and elegance of lines, the balance of elements among themselves, the balance of elements and emptiness.

Quality practicing Syodo: Limit concentration, impeccable technique, spiritual training. That is why each calligraphic work is unique. It is going on in a single gust of the soul and reflects the status of the mind of the artist, his mood, thoughts, feelings at the moment of inscribing hieroglyphs. Repeat and create such a newly impossible.

Syodo – the art of the moment of centuries.

Tools and sets

Practitioners Practitioners use seven objects:

  • Sumy – Black mascara+
  • Hanxi – Traditional Japanese paper, manufactured from rice straw+
  • Suzui – heavy metal ink mill for rubbing a solid carcass+
  • Buntein – metal object for pressing paper during writing+
  • Sitadziki – Soft black mat, the purpose of which is to create a smooth surface+
  • Food-brush – The size of more withdrawn large hieroglyphs, small – the signature of the artist and minor inscriptions+
  • Midzusari – water vessel.

Training Japanese calligraphy at special courses and master classes. The Internet contains a lot of video tutorials for beginners Practice Letters Path.

To master the technique yourself at home, it is enough to purchase a pointed brush, a black mascara and paper, view the training video and start practicing.

For a deeper contact with the tradition of Japanese letter We recommend purchasing a set for Japanese calligraphy, which has all the traditional items. Paper can enter or purchased separately.

It is more expensive sets in durable cases, beautifully decorated wooden boxes.

Work with such tools will bring even greater aesthetic pleasure.

The more promoted the master, the higher its demands on the brush. The best brush of the elastic, is sensitive to barely noticeable movements of the fingers and has a sharp end. These characteristics give it the ability to keep a large amount of paint and water.

For these purposes, the hairs on the brush neatly trim. The handles of the brushes make a bamboo or inexpensively tree. To get a soft brush, the goat wool is taken, for hard – fur dog or column. In the most expensive brushes there are hair from a deer wool, a badger and a bear. The best is considered combined brushes consisting of soft and rigid hair.

Small parties to order make exclusive – brushes from swan fluff and tiger hair.

These masters are stored many brushes, each of which is intended for a certain purpose.


Armed with everything necessary for writing, you can make the first samples. Start better with the removal of simple hieroglyphs: tree, day, man, mouth.

Proper to keep the brush large, medium and index fingers, closing it around in the middle. At first it may seem uncomfortable, but the skill will come with experience.

Several basic techniques exist in Sydo:

  • Stop line+
  • hook+
  • Smoothly concluded line+
  • spray.

Lines are displayed smoothly and slowly with presses in certain places.

Do not despair, if it immediately did not really well. Remember, the masters are trained in this art for years, making a lot of effort to this.

About how the exercise on Japanese and calligraphy passes, you can find out, looking at the video a little below.

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