Culture of Japan, Calligraphy

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Summary

The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric Jōmon period, to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe, and North America. The inhabitants of Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world during the Tokugawa shogunate, until the arrival of "The Black Ships" and the Meiji period.

Details

The flowing, brush-drawn Japanese rendering of text itself is seen as a traditional art form as well as a means of conveying written information. The written work can consist of phrases, poems, stories, or even single characters. The style and format of the writing can mimic the subject matter, even to the point of texture and stroke speed. In some cases it can take over one hundred attempts to produce the desired effect of a single character but the process of creating the work is considered as much an art as the end product itself.

This calligraphy form is known as ‘shodō’ (書道) which literally means ‘the way of writing or calligraphy’ or more commonly known as ‘shūji’ (習字) ‘learning how to write characters’.

Commonly confused with Calligraphy is the art form known as ‘sumi-e’ (墨絵) literally means ‘ink painting’ which is the art of the paintings a scene or object.

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External Links

  • WikipediaJapanese-City.comThe History of Japanese CalligraphyJapan Society - New York CityAgency for Cultural AffairsTraditional Culture - The Imperial Household Agency

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