Calligraphy was introduced to Japan between the 6th and 7th centuries from China, along with methods for making paper, brushes (fude) and ink (sumi). Since then, it has evolved independently along with the original Japanese syllabary (kana), the addition of which resulted in the Japanese form of calligraphy known as shodo.
Calligraphy is intended to focus the spirit and express one’s inner heart through variations in writing styles. Even within similar types of letter forms, differences are born due to the strength, suppleness and thickness of line, and works of calligraphy are appreciated in terms of the condition of the text, how the brush is carried, shades of ink, and the beauty of the entire composition.
Using brushes of different sizes depending on the intended text, smelling the unique aroma of ink, and forming the letters on traditional Japanese paper (washi), one can sense the beauty and spiritual power of Japanese calligraphy.