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Japanese Calligraphy

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Japanese Calligraphy

Japanese calligraphy, which consists of rubbing ink sticks to produce ink and writing with a brush, was once a common way of writing in Japan. Nowadays, few people write with brushes on a daily basis, but the artistic qualities of calligraphy are highly appreciated. In fact, calligraphy exhibitions are held, just like those for paintings. One difference from paintings is that once it's written, corrections are not made. Calligraphers consider the size and balance of the characters, the darkness or lightness of the ink, how easily the ink will run, what lines will be broken or grazed, and write the characters all at once. Japanese calligraphy is a simple yet profound art, rendered in the two colors of black and white.

Suzuri (inkstone)

A flat grinding stone. A few drops of water are added to grind the ink sticks.

Bunchin (paperweight)

Holds down the paper so it doesn't move. Often made of iron or ceramic.

Hanshi (rice paper)

A paper to write characters on. A diverse variety of types are available, ranging from hanshi for children to practice on to high-end Japanese paper.

Fude (brush)

Several types available, with varying tip shape, thickness, and hair material.

Sumi (ink stick)

A solid object made by blending and kneading soot and a type of glue.