Cutting Edge Issue 2 - Page 70

SHODO J apanese calligraphy, or Shodo, is a form of artistic writing, and for a long time, the most esteemed calligrapher in Japan was not Japanese, but a Chinese calligrapher called Wang Xizhi dating back to the 4th century. Following the integration of hiragana and katakana into the unique Japanese syllabaries, the distinctive Japanese writing system developed and calligraphers produced styles intrinsic to Japan. Wang Xizhi have been lost, and copies such as Gakki-ron, written by the Empress Komyo are highly regarded as important sources of Wang Xizhi’s style, in particular for the wayo style unique to Japan. Japanese calligraphy shares its roots with Chinese calligraphy and many of the principles and techniques are very similar and recognise the same basic writing styles: During the Heian period, Wang Xizhi’s influences remained strong, and evident in calligraphy written by K?kai or Saicho, admired by the Emperor Saga. seal script (tensho) clerical script (reisho) regular script (kaisho) semi-cursive (gyosho) cursive (sosho) The traditional tools of the art are: The inkstick (sumi); mulberry paper (washi); an inkstone (suzuri) to grind the inkstick against; a paper weight (bunchin); a cloth (shitajiki) which goes under the paper and a brush (fude). Calligraphy was introduced to Japan from China around 600 A.D. and known as the karayo tradition. The oldest existing calligraphic text in Japan \?H^?H[??B?YYX?[?H?YH?]YH[?H?]Z?H[\K?\??[?\?H^?\?][?[??Z?Z]ZH?[K??Z[?[?[??H?[?\?H?^[?\?Y\?\?[? ??[?H ??[?\?KH?X???[\\??Z^????\?H?[?]X?X??]??[??^?x?&\??[Y?\X?^?[??[??K\??[\?]H[??Y[??YB??\[?\?H?[Y?\\???[?H?Y?[?[^??][??B???????US??Q?B???[Y?\H?H]\?????Z?H L??x?$?L?LK?\[?\?B??[?X\?\??][??[Y?\\???][?[?B????[?????X?Y?????[K????[Y?\H?H?[??^?B???][??Y?Y[??[\?\?Y[?B??[?H?]X??[X?\?H?\?]?\?Y?X[?][[Y[?????[??X][??]??[???H?][??]B??????Y?[?\?H?\?X?\????\[?\?H?[Y?\\???[?]Y?H?\?X??\?X?\??[??H?]X\?\?ZY?]?[?\?Y\??Y??K?H[??B??[K??Z??H?Z?]?K?\??][?[???HQ [???????YHY??\?[??\????HH[?\]YH?[H??\[?\?B??[Y?\H???HH?[?\?K??????ZX?Z?^?H M NM??Q B??[???]?Z?]?\?H???Z?[X\?B?[??Z?]?\?H??]Z?[?\?KH???[Y?[??Z?H 8?&?YH??\??X?\??&JK?\?H???Y\?YH??[?\???B??\[?\?H?^[??[K??HZZ?H[???]\?HX\??YB??Y?[??[???H?[XZ?\?H\?[?? LN x?$?L???K?\?\?H\??[??Y?\??Y??\?8?&HY?H?H?\??[???&K]\?[??H[YH?[??Y\?H??\?\?Y ???[?[????X?\??[????YYY?[??[?H[?H??X?????]B????Y??][H\?H?Y?\?Y??HY?H[??Y[?X[??H?\?^[?Y][??H[YK^?\??[??B??X\??Z\???[K???