本日の文字 - Today's Character

Hi everyone,

Here’s something I thought I’d give a try.

As some of you know, I’ve been taking calligraphy classes for the last 5 years or so, and I thought I’d share some with you. I thought it would be a nice idea to do a character each day for a while and see if there is much interest.

Here are a few thoughts I had:

  • I don’t want to make this about me. Any contribution from any member is very much appreciated.
  • With the rise of technology, many people (including many Japanese) have recently been forgetting about stroke order, but it is just as important as ever, from reading the occasional note scrawled down by a colleague in a rush, right up to high level calligraphy.
  • I want to show the three main calligraphy styles (see below) and try to write using them the best I can.
  • I might share the occasional thought about a character, and hopefully prompt some conversation.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t claim to be a calligraphy expert - it is simply my hobby. I’m more than happy to take feedback from people who know more than me, or questions from newcomers.

While there are many calligraphy styles in Japanese, the three most common that you are likely to find in calligraphy classes are:

  • 楷書かいしょ - standard script
  • 行書ぎょうしょ - semi-cursive script
  • 草書そうしょ - cursive script

I’m OK at the first one, but I need a lot more practice with the latter two! If anyone knows about these and they notice any errors, please let me know! I’m doing this for my study, too.

As of now, I have no system of selecting which character to choose each day, so if anyone has any ideas, or any favourite characters they have, feel free to send me a message!

Let’s go!

25 Likes

2023年9月12日(火)


訓:はやし
音:りん
英:grove, forest

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I decided to go with this one first, because I remember having a eureka moment with it when I was writing it in my calligraphy classes. Contrary to what a lot of people think, 林 is NOT two identical trees. It is きへん followed by a normal-shaped tree.

16 Likes

I completely wouldn’t recognise styles #2 and #3 there! :dizzy_face:

7 Likes

They’re definitely far from perfect. I’ve been studying them for a while, but I’m still nowhere near being able to read or write even 10% as much as I can with standard script, so hopefully I’ll be motivated to continue with this thread and learn some things along the way!

4 Likes

Oh, I mean, I would not have known they were the same as the kanji but written in a different style!
I know nothing of the different styles and am here to learn :laughing:

5 Likes

2023年9月13日(水)


訓:いあおが.しい、せわ.しい、おそ.れる、うれえるさま
音:ぼう、もう
英:busy, occupied, restless

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I had a busy day today, so this one popped into my head. Also, I really like こころへん, the left part of the character. The base form is 心, but when it’s written on the left of a character, it’s written as 忄.

13 Likes

2023年9月14日(木)


訓:ふで
音:ひつ
英:writing brush, writing, painting brush, handwriting

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
Well, I thought that this was a pretty appropriate character to have in the first week of me trying this out. The 草書 version was pretty difficult for me to write, but I gave it a good go. Does anyone like this character? Also, notice that the bottom two horizontal strokes don’t go out as far as they do when typed on a standard PC font. As many of you are aware, there are many examples of computer fonts being totally different to written ones.

12 Likes

2023年9月19日(金)


訓:と.ける、と.かす
音:ゆう
英:dissolve, melt

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I just got feedback from my calligraphy teacher from this month’s assignment, and this is one that I really struggled with balancing. I probably completely murdered the cursive version, but I gave it a good shot!

8 Likes

2023年9月16日(土)


訓:さけ、さか‐
音:しゅ
英:sake, alcohol

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I finished making a fruity alcoholic drink today, that’s been fermenting for the best part of half a year, so naturally, this popped into my head!

7 Likes

The 草書 version is really remarcable.
果物のお酒を楽しんで!

3 Likes

2023年9月17日(日)


訓:なし
音:り
英:pear tree

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I got some delicious fresh Japanese pears from my neighbour, so I thought of this beautiful kanji!

7 Likes

2023年9月18日(月)


訓:お.いる、ふ.ける
音:ろう
英:old man, old age, grow old

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
Today is Respect for the Elderly Day in Japan, so this one seems appropriate. Thanks to all the elderly people out there who help us in our lives every day!

9 Likes

2023年9月19日(火)


訓:ただ.しい、ただ.す、まさ、なさ.に
音:せい、しょう
英:correct, justice, righteous, 10**40

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
This is one that I have been doing on this month’s assignment. A simple one, but somehow very satisfying to write.

9 Likes

Great penmanship man! The question I keep meaning to ask you but haven’t is if you can actually read other people’s 草書? That is one area I find I struggle a lot.

9 Likes

I showed my japanese friend to see if she could and she couldn’t haha so it might be normal

4 Likes

@Asher I can basically read them if it’s one that I’ve studied in an assignment. That’s probably fewer than 100 characters, but I’m improving slowly but surely.

@I-k-d yeah, most people can’t, especially the more complex characters.

4 Likes

2023年9月20日(水)

訓:い.く、ゆ.く、-ゆ.き、-ゆき、-い.き、いき、おこな.う、おこ.なう
音:こう、ぎょう、あん
英:going, journey, carry out, conduct, act, line, row, bank

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I’ve always enjoyed writing this character, although I never feel like I’ve got it quite right…

6 Likes

2023年9月21日(木)


訓:すく.う
音:きゅう
英:salvation, save, help, rescue, reclaim

書き順

楷書

行書

草書

メモ
I saw an ambulance (救急車) on my way home from work today, so I decided to do this one. This is my way of thinking currently, so if anyone has any requests, please let me know!

7 Likes

Are there “standard” ways in which characters/radicals change from one style to the next? I guess I mean, if you know the printed form of the kanji, can you predict the other forms, or how much is it case by case.

Perhaps there should be an srs for this (for the three people who would use it!)

3 Likes

おはようございます

I’m still fascinated by the 草書 version of the kanjis. It keeps reminding of Picasso’s animals sketches, if I may say so.

I wonder what would be the 草書 version of and . Then, going one step further from the opening kanji you chose () , would be an interesting choice?

In any case, thank you so much for this initiative! とても楽しんでいます!

2 Likes