Nihongo Center Foundation once again comes together with Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School to shine light on another piece of Japanese culture. Today, we share with you Shodō, the art of Japanese calligraphy.

Shodō or 書道 is composed of the kanji characters 書 (sho) translating to calligraphy and 道 () or “the way”. Put together, it can mean “the way of calligraphy”. The 道 kanji is also used in other Japanese art forms such as traditional Japanese unarmed combat or 柔道 (Jūdō), Japanese fencing or 剣道 (Kendō), and Japanese tea ceremony or 茶道 (Sadō).

This written art requires a few tools to get started. You need 筆 (fude) or a brush, 硯 (suzuri) an ink container, 墨 (sumi) an ink block used in the past–now you can use bottled calligraphy ink, 下敷き (shitajiki) a desk pad, 文鎮 (bunchin) a paperweight, and lastly 半紙 (hanshi) or half of a paper. 

In this video, Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School demonstrates the proper writing posture and brush strokes needed for a holistic Shodō experience. Tune in to discover the beauty and tranquility of Japanese calligraphy as you watch their students’ Shodō experience.

Keep your eyes peeled for more articles and videos here on Nihongo Center Foundation website as we continue to partner with Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School to promote informative, reliable, and fun content on Japanese culture.