Calligraphy / Shodō

Japanese calligraphy (書道) or shodō, is an artistic form of writing the Japanese language. Our teachers and youth students share and teach their brush skillsshodō at outreach events (SacAnime and Pacific Rim Street Fest) as well as Saturday School’s New Year culture days and summer classes. Shodō instruction in brush stroke rules helps teach students the correct way to write kana and kanji. The required focus and connection between paper-brush-hand reinforce learning kanji. Writing one’s name in calligraphy is a very satisfying experience and with practice is suitable for framing. Drop by our booth at the next outreach activity to try your hand at this fun art form.

More information is pending

Shodo Tools

Inkstick (墨 sumi) –
Mulberry paper (和紙 washi) –
Inkstone (硯 suzuri) – to grind the inkstick against, mixed with water and inkwell
Paper weight (文鎮 bunchin) – to hold the paper in place
Cloth (下敷き shitajiki) – to place under the paper to prevent ink from bleeding through
Brush (筆 fudé) –

During preparation, water is poured into the inkstone and the inkstick 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).

The fudé (brushes) come in various shapes and sizes, and are usually have animal hair (e.g., goat, sheep, horse) for the bristles. The handle may be made from wood, bamboo, plastic or other materials.
more about brushes

The thin hanshi (paper) is smooth on one side and slightly textured on the upper surface. The texture and absorbancy of the paper influences the color and crispness of the finished product.
types of rice paper

more pending


Intro to Shodō Technique –

Some basic brush stroke examples –
        kana and kanji

Ask about calligraphy as a short course – perfect for a group activity