Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hubby practised shodo calligraphy at home

On 16th of December, hubby was back home from work at 7 pm, which was rather early as he usually returns home after 11 pm. He had bought all the implements of shodo calligraphy and wanted to practice it at home. Hubby had learnt shodo calligraphy in elementary school and it had been his hobby until his high-school days. Hubby got interested in trying out shodo again after reading the blog that I posted earlier this month. In shodo calligraphy, an ink-dipped brush is used artistically to create Chinese kanji and Japanese kana characters. The art of shodo is a part of the culture and tradition of Japan. Works of calligraphy are admired for the accurate composition of their characters, the way the brush is handled in their creation, the shading of the ink, and the balanced placement of the characters on the paper.

Hubby had his dinner in a hurry and arranged all the implements of Shodo on the table. A calligraphy set consists of the following.
Shitajiki: Black, soft mat
Bunchin: Metal stick to weight down the paper during writing
Hanshi: Special, thin calligraphy paper
Fude: Brush
Suzuri: Heavy black container for the ink
Sumi: Black ink. Hubby used instant ink (bokujuu) that is available in bottle.

Hubby wrote my first name 'Manisha' using kanji characters. While practising shodo, hubby sat in the the tradition formal seiza style and wrote with full concentration and silence. The very first trial seemed rather nice to my untrained eyes. But hubby kept trying shodo writing using new hanshi papers for more than 20 times until it was written up to his satisfaction. When I asked him the reason for repeatedly trying the same kanji characters, he explained that in shodo calligrahy, the beginning, the direction, the form and the ending of lines, and the balance between elements are important for each line and point. This is true because I noted that out of the many shodo trials that hubby performed, only for a few select trials that were up to hubby's satisfaction, the hieroglyphs were harmonious, proportional, and balanced.

Here are the sequential photos that I took while hubby wrote 'Manisha' in kanji characters during one of the trials. It was really nice to watch various strokes and moves that hubby performed while writing the characters.

During this trial, the kanji characters were proportional and very well balanced.

I compiled all the photos that I took during the above shodo writing trial into a video.

Hubby liked the proportion and balance of the kanji characters in four of the shodo writing trials of 'Manisha'.

Next, hubby wrote his name 'Nagata Kazuo' in kanji characters.

I also tried shodo calligraphy writing. I too wrote the kanji characters of 'Nagata Kazuo'. It was my very first attempt, and predictably, the result was disastrous. Hubby was really very amused after seeing my style of shodo writing.

It was the first time that I saw hubby practising shodo calligraphy and I realized that he is really very good at it. I love shodo and hope to learn from hubby and improve on my shodo writing ability.

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