Calligraphy: an art that originated in Japan

Published on : 29 October 20213 min reading time
Calligraphy is an art form that is created using very peculiar techniques. The variety of ways of writing allows you to embellish your texts according to your needs and tastes. You can also vary your accessories to obtain several sophisticated styles and this is exactly what calligraphy tries to do. But where does this traditional art come from and what does it consist of? 

Calligraphy, a very peculiar form of writing

Calligraphy is an attractive form of writing and penmanship is one of its most famous examples, although this art exists in various versions (medieval, modern, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, etc.).

Calligraphy is not created just any old way, there are some strict rules to be taken into account. It is not just about one letter, but rather the whole word, sentence, block of text or page.

Some people use bird feathers to create their calligraphy masterpiece, others use calamari but you can also choose a felt-tip brush. Last but not least, it is possible to write with a chalk point if you are comfortable with precision.

Calligraphy, an art of Japanese origin

Shodô or calligraphy is not only a matter of writing with brushes in Japan, it is above all a philosophy. The practice of this style of writing has a connection with the Buddhist schools and the Zen Buddhist movement. This means that the writing itself follows certain precise rules as you make a brushstroke. Even the spaces that keep the balance are important!

Careful writing is achieved through reaching the “mushin” state of mind which means “absence of thought”. This frees the writer from all forms of doubt and constraint while working on his art. Contemplating calligraphy leads to a Zen state of mind.

The various uses of calligraphy

Calligraphy is done differently depending on the techniques used. For instance, Chinese characters called kanji in Japan are used to write sacred Buddhist texts. Kanas in turn are Japanese syllabaries selected for their phonetics. You can use them to create poems. Ther’s also Tenkoku which is nothing but an engraving on a seal and is used to authenticate documents. You can usually see it on Chinese pictogram stones. There is also Kindai Shibunsho which is mainly used to write ancient texts but some people use it to transcribe foreign texts. There are also other less known models such as Zen Eisho, Kanas and Daijisho.

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