Logic Behind The Magic – Brush Techniques, Part II (b).


The pair grip method and the simple grip method, both discussed in Part II (a) of this series, do not exhaust the ways of holding a calligraphy brush. Other methods (or variations of both) are as follows: 単包法 (たんほうほう, tanhō hō), where the ring finger and the small finger are adjacent to the inner side of the palm, and the brush is held with the three remaining fingers. This method is recommended for writing cursive script (草書, そうしょ, sōsho) when the brush is held similarly to … [Read more...]

Blessings of the Dragon Gods


On January 23 rd, 2012, we enter the Year of the Yang (陽, pinyin: yáng, lit. “sun”; male element Yang) Water Dragon, which appears in a 62 year cycle. It is a year I have been awaiting for a long time. Its symbolism is closely related to East Asian calligraphy, and it also gives me the opportunity to explain my pen name. Dragons in Far Eastern mythology are benevolent creatures; bearers of wisdom, power, and positive energy. Together with a phoenix, dragon’s Yin (陰, pinyin: yīn, lit. … [Read more...]

平仮名 (ひらがな, hiragana): な (i.e. “na”)


The modern form of な comes from the cursive form of the kanji 奈 (な, na, i.e. “Nara”, “what”). Follow the progression of the different scripts shown in Figures 1 to 3 to understand its origin. Figure 1. Standard script (楷書, かいしょ, kaisho) of the kanji 奈. Calligraphy by 品天龍涙 (ぽんてりゅうるい, Ponte Ryūrui), ink on paper. Figure 2. Semi-cursive script (行書, ぎょうしょ, gyōsho) of the kanji 奈. Calligraphy by 品天龍涙 (ぽんてりゅうるい, Ponte Ryūrui), ink on paper. Figure 3. Cursive script (草書, そうしょ, … [Read more...]