Language Center

2021 Late Spring Shodo Courses


Shodo Kana / Shodo Kanji / Shodo for Beginners
Members: $140
Non-members: $160

To become a Japan Society member (or to renew membership) and to register for a course online, please become a member first, and then click the register button to register for a course. You may also purchase or renew a membership while registering for the class by phone at (212) 715-1269.

At the moment, registration is only accepted online (recommended) or by phone, and we are only taking payment in the form of credit or debit cards (no checks or cash). We highly recommend that you register online. Acceptance will be acknowledged by email.

Japan Society reserves the right to cancel any course if sufficient enrollment is not obtained. In such a case, students already enrolled will receive full refunds.

For more information, please email us at or call (212) 715-1269. Please note that while we are working remotely, we may not always be reachable by phone. Please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

ご質問は までご連絡ください。電話でのご登録を希望される方は、クレジ ットカードをご用意の上、212-715-1269 までご連絡ください。
To register online, click "Register":

Please register by Friday, April 2 at 12 PM EDT if possible. These classes are small, so we appreciate your early enrollment.

Please Note: These courses will be conducted online via Zoom, and are a temporary substitute for our in-person courses due to COVID-19. To participate fully, you will need access to a device with internet, microphone, and camera (such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet). Please note that all times listed are New York time (ET). Calculate your local time

Registrants will receive a Welcome Letter by email from on the afternoon of Friday, April 2, 2021, as well as an email from their instructor with the samples and Zoom link by the end of day, Monday, before their first class at latest.

We do not record these classes, and recording of these classes is prohibited.

View course information (PDF)

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

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

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.


These courses will consist of self-study, instructor-student dialogue, and instructor demonstration. The structure for the courses is as follows:

Shodo Kana: Fridays, April 9—May 7 (5 weeks)
2—3 PM* | Instructor: Asai *Instructor updated
Course work begins April 5

Shodo Kanji: Fridays, April 9—May 7 (5 weeks)
3:15—4:15 PM* | Instructor: Asai *Instructor updated
Course work begins April 5

Shodo for Beginners: Fridays, April 9—May 7 (5 weeks)
4:30—5:30 PM* | Instructor: Asai *Instructor updated
Course work begins April 5

Class full; to be added to the waitlist please email or call 212-715-1269.

*The above times are only the course meeting times. There will be individual work and correspondence with the instructor outside of these times. See schedule below.

Assignment Sample: by Monday prior to the class
The instructor will correspond with students (by email) about assignment samples. Students will work individually and submit the completed assignment(s) by the due date (see below). Please note, this will begin on the Monday prior to the first Friday class meeting. If Monday is a holiday, the instructor will send the assignment on Friday night the week before. Please print the assignment samples out in advance so that you can use them in practice or in class.

Sample Due Date: by Friday at 10 am ET
Students submit their assignment(s) to the instructor via email (ideally in a .pdf file) before class (by 10:00 am Friday) or after class. The instructor will email feedback to each student except on Sundays.

Class Meeting: See schedule above.
Students will meet with the instructor on Zoom. The instructor will review key points and details from that week’s sample for the first 5-10 minutes, and then for the rest of class will work with students individually on technique, etc. This will happen with everyone in the same Zoom meeting, so students will also hear/see feedback given to other students. We recommend that while not working directly with the instructor, students may practice the ideas introduced at the start of class and the sample assignment.The instructor may work with each student more than once.

Further details will be provided upon registration for the course.

Shodo Supplies

Students are required to purchase their own materials for at home use.

Shodo materials include: brush, ink (liquid or ink stone and stick), a felt pad, and a paperweight. Hanshi paper if you have it, or printer copy paper will be fine as well.

Devices include: a computer, tablet, or smart phone which has a camera, microphone, and speaker. It is preferred that you set up a camera to show your work/brush strokes live, rather than your face. This could mean using a stand or creating a comparable set up. If you have two devices, you could create an arrangement where the instructor can see both your work and your face.

If you are purchasing supplies, please do so far enough in advance so that you receive the materials before your first class. The Language Center is not responsible for delays resulting in a student not being prepared by the first class session, and the cancellation policy still applies (see below).

If you need assistance acquiring Shodō materials, setting up your technology/checking your camera angle, or further information, please email


Sanae Asai (Master Suiho) obtained a BA in Commerce from Meiji University and finished the courses of Certified Financial Planner at NYU, and was bestowed with a Master in 1996 by the Calligraphy Institute of Daitobunka University. She has taught calligraphy for 20 years in schools and cultural institutes in New York, The New School, the Long Island Japanese Culture Center, the Japanese American Society of New Jersey, Japanese Schools, the Hammond Museum, The Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association, Arts Mid-Hudson as well as her own private studio. As a modern-day calligrapher, she has performed live calligraphy at Rotary Clubs, museums, and cultural festivals as an artist, and has been engaged in commercial projects including marketing materials, logos, school certificates, and industrial designs.

Please Note

Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable for any reason (including for credit) after 12 PM noon, Friday, April 2, 2021 (for all courses), which is the business day before your course work starts. All refunds are subject to a $20 service charge, including those requested by the deadline date. No partial registration or auditing is permitted. Cancellations are accepted by phone only. Cancellations via email are not accepted. Japan Society reserves the right to cancel any course or workshop if sufficient enrollment is not obtained. In such a case, students already enrolled will receive full refunds for the course, but not for any supplies purchased on their own.

By registering for a course, I accept and agree to the above terms of the cancellation policy. I also verify that the student taking this course is age 16 or older.

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Japan Society Language Center and C.V. Starr Library
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

Language Center Hours:
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Phone: (212) 715-1269

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