We had a lovely morning of Shōdo calligraphy at Kagyu Samye Dzong on Saturday 2nd September, with an enthusiastic group keen to try out the styles and materials 😊
We brushed 安楽 anraku – peace and joy or ease and comfort – a word that has two very common kanji characters and that is associated with some temples in Japan as well as meditation.
After everyone had settled in, with a cuppa of some genmai green tea from the kitchen freshly made, Blair gave a concise introduction to Shōdo calligraphy and about the two characters and their history and visual background. Then we had guidance on holding and moving the fude brush, and then practiced some strokes and got the feel for the sumi ink and hanshi paper 🖌️
We brushed an and raku in two styles – the kaisho and sōsho, looking at their shapes and layout, and connecting together in the flowing sōsho style ✨
It was a friendly group with some quirky and fun pieces made by participants including one with 楽 in sōsho style turning into a person’s moustache! Folks also had fun writing their names in Japanese katakana or in kanji.
The class runs from 11am to 12pm in the Garden Room, and we will be running this monthly on the first Saturday each month (some months will be the second Saturday). All materials are included so participants can discover the traditional tools from fude brushes to suzuri inkwells and felt shitajiki mats.
Thanks to those who participated and everyone else who gave their enthusiastic support to the group. This class complements our existing monthly Zoom shōdo ‘Zen Brush’ group which continues online. Our next calligraphy group at KSD is on Saturday 14th October, catch up with you then!