Japanese calligraphy

The Japanologist of the KLANGATELIER also gives Japanese calligraphy courses (書 道). The course is based on the development of their own haiku and their graphic representation by the Japanese calligraphy. Exercises of all Japanese writing systems at the beginning of the lesson enable the development of an individual writing style. Inkstone, bamboo brush and Co. are in the studio. Traditionally, washi, very thin Japanese paper, is used for Japanese calligraphy. However, in order to be more wasteful we rarely use washi for the exercises.

Haiku (俳 句) is a Japanese poem of three lines, which was already popular in the Japanese Middle Ages. To this day, haiku still have their influence on the Japanese literary landscape.

The Japanese language consists of three writing systems: kanji (漢字), hiragana (ひ ら が な) and katakana (カ タ カ ナ). Here you can already see the different styles purely by their visual appearance:

  • Kanji are what is widely understood in the Western world as a FONT: complex characters with many strokes. Here each sign stands for a “thing” that can be an object, subject, or verb. Suffixes (endings), which are then always written in hiragana, determine the kanji more closely. Kanji have their origin in China and are an import product of the Japanese court. More about this in the course.
  • Hiragana and katakana are both syllabaries based on a-i-u-e-o. For example, hiragana hi-ra-ga-na written. Hiragana is also called the female syllabary because of its roundish appearance, katakana as opposed to the male syllabary because it looks more square.

The story behind Japanese writing and calligraphy accompanies us throughout the course. However, the focus should be on the practical practice of Japanese calligraphy. Together we will learn to read and understand the haiku that we calligraphically hand out. The Japanese writing and language offers plenty of room for discussion, so the lessons are always very interactive.