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Josh Bisker
02-28-2004, 10:46 PM

I was almost going to post this as a response to the "best complement" thread, but wanted a broader context.

Does anyone practice shodo (ie: Japanese calligraphy)?

I had my first experience with it this week and was astonished. It was such a calming and highly focused experience. I think that I got as much out of it as I have often done meditating. I think i really would like to begin studying it (knowing that I will probably never progress to the level of 6th graders in a Japanese public school - oh well). Really, I was just totally taken aback by the whole experience. Very humbling and very ennobling and very wonderful. I think that it could be a really great compliment for budo training.

I know that a lot of us take up other practices that relate to training aikido - some folks train other martial arts, some learn japanese language, some invest in zen meditation, some forge swords ... anyone out there do calligraphy? Did anyone grow up learning it? Has anyone taken it up? Has anyone taken it up without knowing Japanese? I'd love to hear people's thoughts and experiences.

PS: my first one really stunk, a friend suggested "aikido" and for all the times i've seen it written it was still extraordinarily difficult. there were funny comments about the quality of my rolls/ki/harmoniuos nature that came about refelctive of my writing. my second try, "bu," was eight strokes and has two strokes I am really quite happy with. bliss.

02-29-2004, 09:30 AM
Hi Josh

While i do not participate in it due to logistical constraints, there is a Shodo class in my dojo, several dojo members attend it.

It is nice to come to class and see the new scrolls hanging on the wall. Even the beginner work is lovely.

Anyway one of my best friends actaully is licensed in Japan to teach Shodo so i am planning on trading for a few lessons.


Tom Wolowiec
02-29-2004, 06:30 PM
I write with my left-hand, so the scrolls would just be one big black smear. :p

Josh Bisker
03-06-2004, 06:21 AM
I write with my left-hand, so the scrolls would just be one big black smear. :p
i think that chinese writing goes from left to right and is written with the right. or at least that's what it looked like in a kung fu movie i saw recently.

kung fu hamster
03-24-2004, 01:22 PM
Just got a wonderful book by Tanchu Terayama (Terayama Katsujo) called Zen Brushwork, available on Amazon...

Janet Rosen
03-24-2004, 02:06 PM
I write with my left-hand, so the scrolls would just be one big black smear. :p
I thought the brush was held at a right angle to the paper, hand above the brush. No?