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Calligraphy at Japan Society

Upcoming Courses

Summer Calligraphy

Register now for summer calligraphy courses. Courses for beginners and advanced students are offered.

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Course Descriptions

Shodō is an art form using a brush and charcoal ink on paper, wood plaques, and fabric. It includes Chinese characters (kanji) and Japanese hiragana. Although it originated in the techniques used for letter writing, with its unique form of expression it has developed into an art genre.

Please note this is not a language course. If you wish to learn Japanese language, please see our other courses.

Shodo Kana:
Students will write 俳句 (haiku) and 短歌 (tanka) using the Japanese syllabaries of hiragana, man’yogana (classic hiragana), and kanji cursive script. For details of the schedule, please read below. Prerequisite: Intermediate participants and above. Hiragana recognition and writing is required. (If you do not fit this prerequisite but have significant previous experience with Japanese calligraphy, please contact us at language@japansociety.org.)

Shodo Kanji:
Students will mainly practice two typefaces: the basic 楷書 (kaisho)/regular script and the 行書 (gyosho)/semi-cursive or 隷書 (reisho)/clerical script. For details of the schedule, please read below. Prerequisite: students must have previously enrolled in at least 1 course (5+ lessons) of Shodō at Japan Society. (If you do not fit this prerequisite but have significant previous experience with Japanese calligraphy, please contact us at language@japansociety.org.)

Shodo for Beginners:
Students will learn the brush strokes used in the basic 楷書 (kaisho)/regular script. This will be a small class size, and the course will involve both homework practice and in-class time over Zoom. (For details of the schedule, please read below.) In the Zoom class, students are expected to show their work with the teacher and other students so that everyone can learn from each other. Students must purchase their own supplies ahead of beginning coursework, and the Language Center can provide recommendations for supplies. This course will help prepare you to enroll in the Shodo Kanji course (please consult with the instructor). Prerequisite: No prior Shodo or Japanese language experience necessary.