The MIMARU Travel Guide

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Japanese Manners,Customs & Culture

Shodo 書道, Japanese Calligraphy Lesson at HiSUi Tokyo

Jun 1.2020

At HiSUi Tokyo, a Multi-Art school in traditional Japanese culture, you can try Shodo, one of the oldest traditional art forms in Japan (appreciated since the 5th century). Do not worry if you cannot speak or write Japanese, they will assist you in English and will teach you to write Japanese characters beautifully.

Let’s start!
The HiSUi Teacher prepared a brush (fude 筆), a traditional inkstone (suzuri 硯) and the so called hanshi-paper 半紙 to write on. All were placed on a cloth to prevent ink from bleeding. A paperweight (bunchin 文鎮) was used to hold the paper in place.

We started the lection with the right way to sit. Sitting straight at the edge of my chair they showed me how to hold my brush before I start with practicing eight essential strokes, the so-called eijihappo 永字八歩. After every single stroke, the teacher improved with red ink.

After a few strokes, I choose my favorite character 走 (hashi-ru, eng. running) and practiced it with the help of the teacher. Since they thought I was ready, I got a so called shikishi 色紙,  a traditional square illustration board with gold trim, in exchange for the thin hanshi-paper. I was quite nervous because I had just one try! I took a deep breath and focused on my character and dipped the brush in the black ink.

Finally, they handed me a stone signature seal (inkan 印鑑) to complete my work.
You will feel how writing affects your mind with a state of no-mind, non-thoughts like a meditative state while focusing on ink.

Book your calligraphy experience from the link below!

The information in this article is subject to change. This article was published in May, 2020.

HiSUi Tokyo

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4-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo-to 104-0061 Japan
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