Shodou or Shodo is a Japanese art of calligraphy that is created with a brush, conventionally made of bamboo, but now even plastic brushes are used. It’s a highly stylised art form that evolved at temples, and has been greatly influenced by Buddhism.
A workshop was conducted by the founder and president of JCA, Anonna. She was taught by her teacher Ashiara-sensei, and she imparted that knowledge to the participants on 23rd September. Anonna brought the specific tools used in Shodo, different sizes of calligraphy brushes known as ‘fude’ (plastic ones albeit), an ink stick known as ‘Suni’ and ink stone (suzuri) used to grind the stick traditionally. She also got calligraphy paper ‘washi.’
There were around 15 participants, from all age groups and professions. The event was also graced by the presence of Gaku-san, a native of Japan, and member of the club. Anonna first taught all the people the basic kanji strokes, one (ichi) and vertical lines. Once everyone got a hang of how to do the strokes (letting the brush flow without putting pressure on it and not letting the tip leave the paper), Anonna then showed them how to draw the kanji of ten (juu), tree (ki), book (hon), day (hi) and water (mizu).
The workshop lasted for almost two hours, and by the end, everyone had written at least two kanjis. All the participants left with a sense of accomplishment, of learning a new craft and a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.