Shodo – The art of Japanese calligraphy

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Shodo (書道, writing path) is the art of Japanese calligraphy that uses a brush to paint individual characters, words or short poems. Most Japanese have studied shodo in school and have one. appreciation for that art.

This art is produced by writing with sumi (black ink) and a brush, on paper, using Japanese or Chinese characters. The art of calligraphy is considered a metaphor for life itself, thus, strong brushstrokes alternate with more delicate ones, varying the effect according to the speed, the color of the ink, the pressure on the paper, the interval between strokes and the very material used.

Shodo - the art of Japanese calligraphy

The art of writing emerged in China more than 3,000 years ago in about 1,300 BC during the Yin Dynasty. It was introduced to Japan at the end of the Yuan Dynasty and has been advancing throughout the history of Japan.

The Hiragana was created thanks to the art of   Shodo. Os Kanji deformed by the artist of the brush gave rise to more rounded and simpler forms, which inspired the creators of the Hiragana.

Shodo in modern times

Nowadays the Shodo is still quite valued,   some dedicate their entire lives in this art, there are various competitions of all ages to value art. People around the world have aroused interest in the art of Shodo.

The first Japanese immigrants to come to Brazil in 1908 had already brought the art of Shodo. In addition, it was common to bring in their luggage, copies of calligraphic art designed by artists, to decorate the walls of the new house. In the year 1975, Shodo gained great momentum in Brazil, with the "Exhibition of Modern Calligraphic Art of Japan".

Shodo - the art of Japanese calligraphy

Calligrapher life

It may seem simple, but it requires concentration, the person must be inspired and must have practice, some are put into intense training since childhood.

The calligrapher's life is not so simple. It is not simply writing letters on paper, materials for practicing traditional shodo are expensive, most of the times stores prefer to print a digitized shodo, and even some professionals save using ink and cheap paper.

In addition to writing and participating in championships, a calligrapher usually gives   classes, also works with banners,   posters and plaques for various purposes, as long as there is a need or preference for handwriting as in some festivals, traditional events and typical lodges. So a shodo practitioner survives.

Just like a painter, Shodo's master's goal is to provoke sensations and feelings in the people who see his works. Like any artist, the great challenge of the oriental calligrapher is not just to master the technique and the rules, but to be able to go beyond them and develop a style of his own. &Nbsp; To learn more about the life of a shodo artist   anime   Barakamon.

Shodo Principles and Techniques

Shodo - the art of Japanese calligraphy

Tensho 篆書 - It is the most primitive and archaic writing style, from which all others originated.

Reisho 隷書 - Clerical Writing -   It is a simplification of Tensho.

Kaisho 楷書 - Straight lines. Its shape is more square and its lines are straight, firm and precise.

Gyosho 行書 - Semi italics. They are written quickly and with smooth, rounded lines and semi-sequential strokes.

Sosho 草書 額隠 – 神秘的日本白布 Cursive, Italic. Also called grass writing. The writing is done in an impetuous, fast and sequential way.

Shodo Tools

In the shodo, a large number of tools are used to make the art of writing.

Shodo - the art of Japanese calligraphy

Suzuri ( - inkwell) -   Utensil used to condition the ink. They are made of stone and also have a concavity where a small amount of water is left, which will be used to dilute the ink stick.

Fuck ( - brush) - There are various types, sizes and thicknesses. The tips are varied and the hair used is sheep,   texugo and others.

Sumi ( - ink cane) -   Charcoal-based ink. It can be in solid form, being necessary to be diluted in water and liquid, ready for use. However, traditional art recommends using the solid, as the preparation and dilution of the ink is seen as a time of concentration, where the artist seeks inspiration to compose the art. The older the better, the better they are 50 to 100 years old.

Bunchin (文鎮 - paper weight) -   Helps keep the paper still to facilitate the artist, preventing possible errors in case the paper moves, usually it is made of iron or ceramic.

Shitajiki (下敷き - cloth) -   To place under the paper to prevent ink from leaking and soaking the place. &Nbsp; (can be replaced by newspaper)

Washi (和紙 - rice paper) -   It is a special paper, made with the fibers of rice, bamboo or banana leaves. It is handmade and does not use chemical components. This makes its durability extremely superior to ordinary paper.

Some usually stamp their works with a Japanese stamp.

Shodo Online Course - Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy

Learn the history, techniques and details of Japanese calligraphy Shodo with this online course from Domestika taught by Rie Takeda.

In this course you will learn Shodo, Mushin Mind, Shodo Styles and Techniques, Utensils and Materials Used in Shodo, Basic Brush Strokes, Basic Strokes, Creating a Shodo Piece and Creating a Stamp.

To find out more details and enroll in this Japanese calligraphy course, simply access the button below and see all the details:

Shodo Making Products

See below where to buy some of the materials used in the Shodo:

Videos about Shodo

Want to understand a little more about the art of shodo? To close we leave some   videos below:

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8 thoughts on “Shodo – A arte da caligrafia japonesa”

  1. Prezado Kevin,

    muito legal a página e curti muito essa matéria. Já há algum tempo venho procurando alguém que escreva os sobrenomes da minha família com a técnica de Shodô, para colocar em quadro com moldura.
    Você faria esse tipo de serviço?
    Qual o custo?

    Grato.
    Nelson Chida
    (11) 957728889
    (11) 3121-1688

    • Infelizmente não sei Shodo, sugiro visitar algum evento de anime ou cultura japonesa que geralmente tem alguém que prática essa arte em alguma oficina e pode fazer isso.

  2. Prezado Kevin,

    the page is very cool and I really enjoyed this article. Já há I've been looking for some time for someone to write my family's surnames using the Shod technique, to put in a frame with a frame.
    Youê would you do that kind of service?
    Qual o custo?

    Grato.
    Nelson Chida
    (11) 957728889
    (11) 3121-1688

    • Unfortunately I don't know Shodo, I suggest visiting an anime or Japanese culture event that usually has someone who practices this art in some workshop and can do that.

  3. Olá. Tudo bem? Meu nome é Luiz Fernando, e há algum tempo tenho tentando aprender um pouco de Shodo. Na verdade, eu pratico muito pouco. E essas práticas eu guardo para ver o que eu melhorei. Uma vez dei um presente, um relógio de parede com o tema do aikido e embrulhei com o papel do arroz onde eu tinha praticado o kanji AIKIDO. O presente era para uma aikidoca. Então, outro sensei me perguntou o quanto eu cobrava para fazer um para ele. Perguntei, o relógio? Então ele me disse não. Ele queria um shodo do que envolvi o presente. Eu expliquei que estava apenas treinando e que eu ainda não consegui fazer um. Ele insistiu de qualquer maneira. Eu tenho habilidade para desenhar e pintar, mas não para fazer um shodo como deveria ser feito. Estes dias eu encontrei um resultado razoável e a questão é: posso cobrar por um shodo? Eu não sou aluno? ou devo cobrar como se fosse uma pintura normal? Gostaria de saber quanto custa e como devo cobrar. Ele pediu um shodo de 1,20 mt x 0,50 mt?
    Muito obrigado.

    • Eu não faço ideia de quanto cobrar pelo shodo, eu sou péssimo com preços… Até pra eu vender minhas coisas ou quando eu fazia site eu odiava pensar em valores, eu tinha algo em mente mas deixava a pessoa fazer a oferta pq era indeciso ou não sabia se minha ideia era cara ou barata.

  4. Hello. How are you? My name é Luiz Fernando, and há I've been trying to learn a little Shodo for a while. In fact, I practice very little. and these practices I keep to see what I've improved. I once gave a gift, an aikido-themed wall clock and wrapped it with rice paper where I had practiced the kanji AIKIDO. The gift was for an aikidoka. Then another sensei asked me how much I charged to make one for him. I asked, the clock? So he told me no. He wanted a shodo of what the gift was wrapped around. I explained that I was just training and that I still haven't been able to make one. He insisted anyway. I have the ability to draw and paint, but not to do a shodo as it should be done. These days I found a reasonable result and the question is: can I charge for a shodo? I'm not a student? Or should I charge as if it were a normal painting? I would like to know how much it costs and how I should charge. Did he ask for a shodo of 1.20 mt x 0.50 mt?
    Muito obrigado.

    • Eu não faço ideia de quanto cobrar pelo shodo, eu sou péssimo com preços… Até pra eu vender minhas coisas ou quando eu fazia site eu odiava pensar em valores, eu tinha algo em mente mas deixava a pessoa fazer a oferta pq era indeciso ou não sabia se minha ideia era cara ou barata.