Shakyou Calligraphy

I am just introducing the Shakyou 写経calligraphy with the Heart Sutra (Hannya-Shingyo) to the advanced students.

They are doing very well!! Despite the tiny Shakyou brush…. 

Once one gets used to it, the brush movement would become lighter and smoother – and eventually you would feel very meditative just like hearing the hymn of Heart Sutra.
Happy Practice!!




I would like to say…

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop in Freiburg.

Compliment on your beautiful mindfulness!!

Excellent works –


Next workshop in Freiburg is on Sunday the 19th. March.

Happy Practice!


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Otehon “A shooting star”

Do you enjoy watching the winter stars?!

I love the winter stars..they look bright, clear and so beautiful.


This Otehon is perfect for our cold icey evenings.
The text is called; “Fuyu no Ryuusei”

The direct translation is like..

“A shooting satr in winter (sky)”


This Otehon consists of four letters.

1.冬 Kanji ~fuyu,  Winter

2.の Hiragana ~ particle between two nouns

3.流 Kanji ~ Ryuu, to flow

4.星 Kanji ~ Sei/ Hoshi, Star(s)

*流星 ~ Ryuusei, a shooting star

-for the beginner to intermediate level

-using medium/large brush, can be both hard or soft haired

-if you are beginner, make sure you practised already jumping, corner, slide-out techniques at least a few hours.

*Above: A Kanji ” Star ” in Sanshotai.

Happy Practice!


Otehon texts for new year 

I first prepared three calligraphy texts for Kakizome,  the new year’s calligraphy. And one Sumi-calligraphy for the Rooster year!!

“Tori doshi 酉年”: the year of Rooster.

“Toridoshi” in Kanji. 

Top one: Rooster, below: Year

This Kanji Rooster, only used for zodiac calendar.

“Toridoshi” in Hiragana

The Kanji, Tori.

The text for kid’s calligraphy class.

“Tori 鳥”in Sumie-calligraphy style. 

This Kanji literaturely means bird.

The new year calligraphy is always quite playful. To begin with, we talk about our Christmas holiday how it was, with a cup of green tea. And warming-up,  practise practice and practise…

At the end of lesson,  I ask students what their new year’s theme/resolution is and let them pick a word that describes the theme,  like “peace”or “stress-free” and so on…  And I translate the word into Japanese and pick a best matched Kanji for the word.

Student then calligraph-s the name, date and the Kanji on the best Seisho piece at the end.

Happy Practice!


October Text in Gyosho

Maples, high sky, yellow leaves…. yes! it is “Autumn here.

The Autumn season gives us always beautifully inspiring poetic texts for our calligraphy courses.

In this month,  naturally still …..hanging on to the moon!!


“つき てんしんに いたる ところ”

( Tsuki Tenshin Ni Itaru Tokoro )

As the moon rises to the very height of the sky,

Nature shows us its beauty”


tsuki tenshin ni itaru tokoro
tsuki tenshin ni itaru tokoro

Little tips*

-Using a medium to a big brush

-Broad, light and stable Gyosho movement

-All Hane* Jumping techniques here are strong and longer

-Start with a folded paper ( into 6 boxes )and mark the middle lines and middle points

-Try to associate the image of the moon with your personal autumn feeling

-One can also try both with hard and soft brushes


Wish you all a pleasant Shodo practice.

Enjoy the autumn energy flow, moment by moment!!


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Sanshotai: Sakura, cherry blossom

I am preparing more various spring texts right now. Lots of cherry blossom and spring themed texts!!

Whenever you see *Flowers* in calligraphy texts in spring time, it automatically means Sakura cherry blossom.

Japanese see the essence of
Wabi-Sabi philosophy in association with Sakura threes. They see the symbolism between Sakura and their lives.
Now enjoy the Sakura season till the last moment!


OTEHON Text: Three Styles

It is still chilly outside and we had some snow this morning!
The Sakura is just coming to us soon… but shall we finish this cold wind off with the three Shotai-practice?!

This is the text to practise 3 calligraphy styles and learn about the style development of the Kanji characters.
I would recommend it is suitable for colder seasons.
It is great for the advanced learners.
For the upper-intermediate students, please practise only two styles: Kaisho and Gyosho. You can use a medium sized brush as well as a bigger one.
Please always start to practise from the Kaisho, Gyosho and to the Sousho.

Harder haired brush is suitable.
Papers : a whole Hanshi or a half sized Hanshi
Time: please take 30min-40 min longer than usual Text



晴窓 静かに 書を 繙く

(せいそう しずかに しょを ひもとく)


Reading the pages

Quietly peacefully

At the sunny bright window




*From the left: Sosho-Gyosho-Kaisho


Happy Practice!!


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Calligraphy Text : TOMODACHI / FRIEND

OTEHON Text : “TOMODACHI” (Friend)

This is prepared for the beginners class and kid’s class for the third grade 7-8 year-old. The meaning is friend or friends.

TOMO: Kanji

DA: Hiragana

CHI: HIragana

友 : Tomo / YU

  1. friend, friends
  2. to be together, to meet spend time together as friend
  3. harmonious brothers/ sisters
  4. harmonious relationship, to work together

Origin: the shape of two hands describes giving both hands and helping each other.

→friend(s) who shares the same truth and values.


2010 01学生-友だち


Please make sure you practice each Harai techniques correctly.

For Tomo, always check the middle line and the whole balance.

For Hiraganas, try to bring the crossing point at the middle of the second line.

You can write your name/calligraphy name in the middle of the empty space.


Happy Practice!


MONKEY Magic kicks off

Texts for the year of the Monkey


Konnnichiwa dear lovely SHODO learners!

As you may have noticed…
2016 is the year of the Monkey in zodiac calendar.

The kanji 猿 is commonly used for the animal “MONKEY”.

But when it comes to the zodiac calendar, you see the other one 申. 

Monkey is called “SARU” in Japanese.

In Hiragana : さる and in Katakana : サル


saru kanji

In the children’s class, we practised both Hiragana and Kanji texts after our usual warming-ups. Every kid thought Hiragana was much easier to do, but in fact the Kanji can be less complicated to balance the middle line.

In the adult session, we first did the Hiragana text a few times as an extended warming up and then went with the Kanji text and so on.

The Kanji text has a major technique called KENSHIN /Needle -Technique. And the Kado/Corner Technique should be very thick and dynamic.


saru hiragana

Hiragana text has quite a few points to remember:
-The whole balance line

-Hane/Jumping technique

-Kado/Corner technique

-Round & Folding technique


For the kid’s class and the Sumie class, I prepared this jumping monkey.

It is done mainly with many line-combinations.
The simple base is the layer of the “S” movement technique.

I would recommend for the zodiac calligraphy text like this in January/ February that you “calligraphy” the year and the date and your name ( or your calligraphy name). Finally you can finish off with your name.stamp if you’ve got one!! A bit of red colour from the stamp can round up the whole composition.

Have fun with Shodo and a good healthy year of the Monkey!!


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The personality of the Monkey

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.

The general image of people in this zodiac sign is of always being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth.

In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.

  • Strengths: sociable, innovative, enthusiastic, self-assured
  • Weaknesses: suspicious, cunning, selfish, arrogant, jealous

Lucky Signs for the Monkey

  • Lucky numbers: 1, 7, 8
  • Lucky colours: white, gold, blue
  • Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, alliums
  • Lucky directions: north, northwest, west

Famous people born under the monkey sign

Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Michael Douglas, Alice Walker, Celine Dion, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera, Owen Wilson, Daniel Craig, Mick Jagger, Bette Davis, Annie Oakley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Cuba Gooding Jr., Gisele Bundchen, Kim Cattrall, Nick Carter, Patricia Arquette, Alyson Stoner, Christina Ricci, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez.

Birth year of Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

(selected section from the telegraph,UK)

Calligraphy Text OTEHON for October/November

I found that many of my students did very well with this rather complex Kana Text this year!

Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons for practicing Kana calligraphy text.

I feel more sensual and intimate.


” Sabishisano

Dokomade hiroshi

Akino kure ”

さびしさの どこまで広し 秋の暮れ (土芳)

As loneliness spreads endlessly

the end of Autumn is going to come sooner than later

Kana Text for October/November, Autumn

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San-Sho-Tai – 三書体


They are three basic calligraphy styles which commonly used and practiced :

KAISHO 楷書- Block style (regular script / standard script)

GYOUSHO 行書- Semi cursive style

SOUSHO 草書- Cursive style


         Sousho                Gyousho                   Kaisho

About the text

黄鳥 春を 話すること 深し

kouchou haru wo wasurukoto fukashi



Bush warbler (Uguisu)has been singing all day outside the window.

Otehon: Calligraphy Text for February


Calligraphy text for the month of February :

5 Kanji characters in Kaisho-style

with small-medium brush.

( for – intermediate and upper intermediate students-)

Calligraphy text Feb.
Calligraphy text Feb.





川辺の梅の花は 雪をおびて 香りを 放っている

Plum flowers at the river covered with a belt of snow,

spreading over their spring fragrance.