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Early Summer Shodō calligraphy

It was relaxing brushing the seasonal phrase Shoka 初夏 – early summer – with the participants of the June Zen Brush group on Zoom. It was an easygoing group for our last session before the summer break. At the end we wished we had a bit more time to enjoy practicing together. 

Early Summer Shodō calligraphy

It was a hot summer’s day for us whilst we brushed the two kanji together in three styles (kaisho, gyōsho and sōsho), working on layout, finding connections and enjoying the flow from stoke to stroke✨ Blair also discussed the meanings of the two characters and the visual history of the styles – such as the dancing figure found in the shell and kinbun metal engraving character for Summer.

Early Summer Shodō calligraphy

Blair chose the flowing style for the fully cursive sōsho this month from characters by the Confucian 15th C Ming Dynasty thinker and calligrapher 王陽明 Wang Yangming (Japanese: Ō Yōmei).

Here are two short summer haiku poems picked up for inspiration for the group..

A bee
with a buzzing cry
a bee shifts on the bloom sought
by a butterfly


A shower
a shower comes and passes
leaving the bright summer moon
upon the grasses


Thanks to participants for sending images of their calligraphy this time.