to the English page of Udoyoshi Calligraphy Lesson!
Calligraphy Lessons are the only place in Japan where you can learn The
Exclusive Readable "Wayo" Style Calligraphy
invented modernized readable "Wayo" Calligraphy from analyzing the
history of our ancestors and their obstacles and by reviewing the brush strokes
and tools for everyone to enjoy.
■ What my
lessons provide you
style Calligraphy trial lesson. (Reservation required / minimum of 2 persons
with a maximum of 8 persons ¥ 3,500 / hour / person).
your name on the stone of a personal seal. 1 session takes about 1 hour
(Reservation required / minimum of 2 persons \5,000 / hour / person)
design (\50,000 deposit)
■ What is
Japanese Calligraphy ?
calligraphy is written on washi, a type of Japanese paper, using a brush soaked
with black ink. The ink is made from soot which is tempered to avoid corrosion
and degradation. It was the most common form of information technology that was
used until the early 20th century among the countries that used Chinese
characters such as Japan, China, etc.
appearance of the pen, calligraphy has been relegated to an art form rather
than for practical use.
30% of written Japanese is "Kanji, Chinese characters"
Japanese uses a mix of three types of characters "Kanji",
"Hiragana" and "Katakana".
and "Katakana" are two kinds of alphabet letters which are simplified
Chinese characters but invented in Japan. Most Chinese characters used in Japan
were imported from China but some were developed in Japan and exported back to
foreigners have the impression that "Japanese written language equals
"Kanji", Chinese Characters". However, the ratio of Chinese
characters in Japanese text is about 30% and almost all the rest are
you accomplish "Hiragana", you can write Japanese
"Hiragana" and "Katakana" consist of 46 characters each.
They are equivalent to phonetic
alphabets. Because one character represents one tone the pronunciation can
never change, unlike Roman languages.
memorize 46 "Hiragana" characters, you can write and read Japanese
sentences in "Hiragana".
"Furigana", "Hiragana" or "Katakana" over the
"Kanji", for difficult "Kanji", so that you can read the
text fully if you have "Furigana" for all the "Kanji" in
the text. This is helpful for beginners.
invented The Exclusive Readable "Wayo" Style Calligraphy for
beginners, including foreigners
the phonetic alphabet of Japanese “Hiragana” is seldom used in calligraphy.
Contemporary mainstream Calligraphy is Chinese style (referred to as
"Karayo").(Details will be described later) So, I made a new Japanese
style which foreigners are able to comprehend easier than Chinese characters.
this Japanese style "Wayo" in contrast to “Karayo” which is Chinese.
→Further information, click here (just a moment!)
mystery of unreadable Japanese Calligraphy
calligraphy is an art form in Japan, it is a common mistake to think that
Japanese can read all calligraphy.
contemporary Japanese Calligraphy is "Karayo" and many ordinary
Japanese or Chinese cannot read it at all.
affect resulted greatly from Japan’s history from the late 19th Century to
"Wayo" to "Karayo". Decline of "Wayo"
the Edo shogunate, a peaceful, historically long, stable regime of samurai,
which lasted 260 years from the early 17th century, the literacy rate in Japan
increased. It is said that Japan’s literacy rate was ranked No. 1 in the world
at that time. "Wayo" of the "Oie" sect spread to the common
people through the temple schools that are equivalent to elementary schools of
today. Japanese culture, such as Kabuki, Sumo, and Ukiyo-e, were developed
because of the spread of written words.
Shogunate state relieved the sovereignty of Japan from the emperor until the
end of the 19th century. Under the influence of European and American invasions
of Asian countries, Japan’s sovereignty returned to the Emperor from the
It was at
this time, the Imperial government adopted one of the Chinese styles, the
"Rhouko" sect of "Karayo", as the official writing style.
result, Japanese Calligraphy style "Wayo" declined in the early 20th
century, which until that time, was in common use for about 950 years from the
early 10th century.
brush to pen in modernization: the Decline of the Brush
19th century was the colonization era where most Asian countries were colonized
by Western countries.
westernized rapidly both economically and militarily in order to maintain
these circumstances, writing materials as information technology changed from
brush to writing tools such as pencils and fountain pens. (In Japan mechanical
pencils are called "Sharp Pen" because it was invented by the Sharp
Co. Ltd. In 1915 and became a commercial success in the world.)
the end of "Karayo" as an official writing style with brush. In 1900,
with the advent of the pen, calligraphy classes were downgraded to a part of
the language classes when they were once a single subject in school education.
the keyboard and the touch panel would seem to have taken over the position of
pen, the brush was taken over as a writing tool by the pen in those days.
bloomed in the field of art and lost practicality
decline of the usage of brush and "Wayo" occurred at about the same
time, there was no time to develop the writing style of Japanese in
"Karayo". (In 1900 the Japanese government arranged
"Hiragana" for use, which used to have many "Hiragana", but
reduced the number to 50 phonetic alphabets as 1 alphabet for 1 sound.
"Hiragana" style of "Karayo" organized around this time as
"Karayo" has achieved its artistic development by obtaining a degree
of freedom of expression by discarding its readability of essential
practicality. And "Karayo" began to be a strong force in Japan
because of powerful sponsors.
became a main art form through major Japanese newspaper companies sponsoring
Second World War, calligraphy events were prohibited by the United States. But
in 1948, Calligraphy was incorporated into Japan’s highest art exhibition, the
"Fine Arts Exhibition, the Nitten". It became part of the arts both
in name and in reality.
after joining the exhibition, leading newspaper companies unanimously became
the sponsor of Calligraphy organizations.
Calligraphy became a popular practice and the exhibitions had as many as 15
million competitors at one time.
70%, 10,000 works, of the total number of the Nitten Exhibition is Calligraphy
has become indispensable to art in Japan so that now, one can hardly find a day
where there is not a Calligraphy exhibition at a major museum in Japan.
Brand New Readable Calligraphy, "Wayo"
the time when "Karayo" business was booming, the mid-20th century,
some began to notice the market of readable Calligraphy, so-called
after World War II, the Westernized Japanese stopped using brush and got used
to print. Therefore Japanese could not read not only "Karayo" but
also 100 year- old cursive "Wayo".
difficult to produce readable style of "Karayo" which ordinary people
can read while maintaining its artistry. Therefore "Wayo"’s
resurrection through the Development of New "Wayo" was needed.
popular calligraphers and styles continue to exist.
calligraphers did not have skills to teach and explored artistic aspects too
often. They put the cart before the horse so that we cannot read these works.
Readable "Wayo" was still not available.