top of page

SHODŌ: Japanese calligraphy

As a blogger, I travel around and find stuff on which I can explore art, recently I went to a tattoo shop and I saw some symbols on the tattoo wall and I recognized it as a Japanese calligraphic symbol and it's so popular I had to research it as always. Japanese calligraphy is one of the most well-known and popular traditional arts of Japan. It’s called shodō (書道) in Japanese, which means a way of writing. Shodō has a very long history. However, it’s still practiced today and it’s a popular class in school, from elementary school throughout the university. The main focus of Japanese calligraphy is simplicity, beauty, and a connection between mind and body which explains why they're so popular as tattoos Shodō is closely linked to Zen Buddhism and is influenced by its ideas and values. Japanese calligraphy goes far beyond simply writing characters or words. It is an art form, a means of communication, but also a Zen practice that evokes harmony and wisdom. This block style of writing is considered the foundation of other less formal styles, and as such, it is required to get a proper feel for the craft. The character kai (in Kaisho) translates to “correctness,” and is what the style is based upon. Each stroke follows a rigid order, and the composition and proportions are carefully executed. Whatever the result, the process of doing SHODO always leads you to a peaceful mind. "If music is the art to express the spirit of word with the voice and instruments, SHODŌ is the art that expresses the spirit of word with the brush and ink ." -Rie Takeda

Video Blog:

Recent Posts

See All


Pick some words and hear them talk.

bottom of page