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Midsummer Shodo brushing the Orchid Pavillion Preface
15 July 2021
On the long sunny night of midsummer’s day we had our monthly shodo calligraphy group! We worked on the famous characters ei wa kyuu nen 永和九年 , which literally means – eternal, harmony, nine, year – from the beginning of the old classic by famous calligrapher Ougishi (see the example photo at the bottom of this post) – the ‘Preface to the Poems Collected from the Orchid Pavillion’ (Lantingji).
We brushed this in the cursive styles, enjoying the freedom of the strokes and the possibilities of the sosho grass writing style. Thanks to those who took part and sent photos below.
‘In the ninth year of Yonghe (Eiwa), at the beginning of the late spring, we have gathered at the Orchid Pavilion in the North of Kuaji Mountain for the purification ritual. All the literati, the young and the old, have congregated. There are high mountains and steep hills, dense wood and slender bamboos, as well as a limpid flowing stream reflecting the surrounding. We sit by a redirected stream with floating wine goblets. Although short of the company of music, the wine and poems are sufficient for us to exchange our feelings. As for this day, the sky is clear and the air is fresh; the mild breeze greets us. I look up at the immense universe. I look down at myriad works [of poetry]…’