If you're looking for a new challenge with your brush and ink, this guide will introduce you to one of the oldest writing techniques in the world.
- Step 1: Keep your strokes fluid and constantly moving as you quickly complete the character without refilling your brush or lifting it from the page.
- TIP: Study the character before you begin so that you can complete it in one pass without stopping.
- Step 2: Repeat the process several times to refine your strokes. Practice before attempting harder characters.
- FACT: The Japanese people had no writing system until about 1,500 years ago when Chinese texts were brought to the island chain.
- Step 3: Stand, don't sit, and hold the brush gently in your dominant hand. Gently place the brush on the paper at a 90-degree angle.
- TIP: Overload the brush with ink if the character is complex and to create the signature splatter associated with the cursive style.
- Step 4: Find an open work area free of obstructions and put on your smock in case you spill the ink.
- Step 5: Fill the suzuri with ink and then lay out a fresh sheet of calligraphy paper or rice paper. Use the paperweight to hold it in place as you work.
- Step 6: Saturate the brush fibers with ink and wipe off the excess on the sloping part of the ink stone.
- Step 7: Choose an easy Japanese character that contains between three and six strokes or lines to complete.