Shodô: a traditional Japanese art

Published on : 28 September 20223 min reading time

Japanese calligraphy is a way of life in the land of robots. Practicing Shodo frees the mind as you carefully sketch elegant lines with a brush.

The history of Shodo, the traditional Japanese art

Japanese calligraphy is one of the most popular and practiced traditional arts in the Land of the Rising Sun. Shodo, which means calligraphy path, has a very long history. Its birth dates back to the 6th century when it was imported from China. In its beginning, the Chinese calligraphy style strongly influenced the Japanese form of learning its art. The system of graphics in the land of manga has evolved over time with the creation of new kinds of characters like the hiragana or katakana. Shodo expresses beauty, simplicity, and the relationship between mind and body. Zen Buddhism influenced the writing of the land of samurai through its values and ideas.

Expressing your thoughts and feelings through Shodo

The aim of this traditional Japanese art is to bring the soul and spirit into the work and to draw with the heart to have meaningful writing. The calligrapher then has only one try, because the brush stroke on the paper cannot be repeated twice. The calligrapher must concentrate on the mind since the realization of this technique is a reflection of himself, what the Nipponese call Kokoro. The feeling and the result are never the same because the ink always confesses the truth. The final result leads to a peaceful mind. Therefore, it is necessary to have a clear mind in order to write a shodo. It is important to point out that the artist must have all these abilities if he wants to let the letters flow smoothly.

The tools needed to make Shodo

Most of the calligraphies are about poems. Therefore, it is important to learn the Japanese language in order to know the meaning of what you are writing. Nowadays, the essential tools for practicing shodo are easy to find, especially those that calligraphers call the four treasures of the calligrapher. These include calligraphy brushes made of animal hair in different sizes. Next, shodo paper makes up this four-fold accessory. The finest paper is the most popular, but an artist can choose any piece for his initiation. The ink used for writing is made from burnt wood of vegetable origin incorporated with glue that is rubbed with a bit of water. The ink stone is used to grind the ink and to keep it during the work.

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