Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy)

1.What is Shodo?

1. What is SHODO?

Shodo means the process of writing.

Same as Kendo (Japanese arts of fencing), Judo (Japanese arts of wrestling), Kado (Japanese arts of flower arrangement),Sado (Japanese arts of tea ceremony), a word “道” is used for the arts it takes long time to master of art and sprits.

2. What is SHO?

SHO means to represent letters and words by various expression methods (mentioned later), likewise letters and words expressed by various ways.

3. Sho as an Art

Sho as a practical purpose prioritizes legibility.

On the other hand, Sho as an art values on inspiring one’s emotion deeply same as other arts, painting, music. For example, trigger to make a new finding and start something new, giving healing,beautiful impression, feeling to see forever and straight image of the letter, and being expressed writer’s personality.

4. How to feel the personality of writer?

Sho is a picture of one’s mind”, word is voice of mind, handwriting is a picture of mind”(Chinese old proverbs) These mean sho reflects the personal character of a writer.

People use words and letters to express one’s feeling. We can know one’s personality from words and letters the person chose. Handwriting is the same.

We often get a sense of one’s personality from polite letter, rough letter, large letter, small letter and so on.

EX. Love in calligraphy

All letters below are the same character, “愛” which means love. What is your impression for each letter? (How do you feel from each letter?)



Handwriting shall be different by experience of calligraphy, age, personal character, sex, and life experience of a writer. Even same writer produces different style of handwriting depend on an emotional condition. The style can be changed for what you intend to.