Japanese Calligraphy

Special thanks to Rev. Masato Kawahatsu for drawing the 絆 Kizuna calligraphy for the 2021 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival poster and banner.

Shodo Calligraphy
Shodo demonstration

Shodo or Japanese calligraphy is the fine art of using bamboo brush and ink for drawing characters by clearing the mind to create letters in fluid motion. The way in which lines are drawn—whether at the beginning or the end, and direction—is important in creating harmony and balance. Even empty space has meaning.

Shoyukai 書友会 supports calligraphy education, demonstrations, and active participation at a variety of events and festivals like ours. They aim to build interest for shodo in the next generation. At a future in-person Festival, Shoyukai will host demonstrations of Kanji, Kana, Hiragana, Katakana, and Sumie (or pictures drawn with sumi, or bamboo soot ink) during the second festival weekend in Classroom 1 of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC/the Center). When this physical event happens, feel free to request a beautiful lettering of your name and favorite word on a fan, shikishi board, or kamaboko board!

Calligraphy lettering

2021 Virtual Festival Day 3: Shoyukai presents their calligraphy exhibition for all ages, showcasing the expressiveness and beautiful charm of writing words in kanji and hiragana. This video is made in collaboration with San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen, Kinmon Gakuen, and Kimochi Home Calligraphy.