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Modern-day Japan, especially in the cities, is tough. Long-work hours are accompanied by a work culture that believes in a somewhat voluntary overtime policy, which often extends into 100 hours of extra work on average. As the salarymen and women steal short naps on their commute to and from work, you wonder when and how they use their free-time. For a growing number of young people, Japanese Calligraphy is proving to be a popular way to de-stress.Twenty

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Stressed? Turn to Calligraphy (書度- Shodo)

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Stressed turn to calligraphy shodo

Stressed? Turn to Calligraphy (書度

書度- Shodo)

Contact Us

U-CAN Americas, Inc.

25 Metro Drive,SUITE 525

San Jose, California, USA

95110

Email us: [email protected]

Web site: https://www.sumigraphy.com/


Stressed turn to calligraphy shodo

Modern-day Japan, especially in the cities, is tough. Long-work hours are accompanied by a

work culture that believes in a somewhat voluntary overtime policy, which often extends into

100+ hours of extra work on average. As the salarymen and women steal short naps on their

commute to and from work, you wonder when and how they use their free-time. For a

growing number of young people, Japanese Calligraphy is proving to be a popular way to de-

stress.

Twenty years ago, the art of Japanese Calligraphy was seen by most in Japan as an old

tradition, with no place in the technological age, save the aged experts, famous for their craft.

The youth were not interested in continuing the traditions, since the cellphone and PC had

started to become mainstream. Technology continued to improve and innovate at a mind-

numbing pace. In the last 10 years, many people in their 20’s and 30’s regretfully admitted

that their ability to write Kanji had withered compared to their parents. Typing on a phone or

laptop forego the need to remember brush-strokes and layout.

As the pace of life increased here, so did the amount of stress and mental-health related

illnesses. Suicide rates were at an all-time high, the population started to decline and many

people turned to alcohol to relax. Social drinking is still one of the biggest pastimes for

people of working age, however some young people are turning back to old traditions, to

regain the peace and slowness of ancient times.


Stressed turn to calligraphy shodo

I spoke to Eri, who started Japanese Calligraphy with a friend a few years prior to our

meeting. She was always interested in art, but she enjoyed the way Japanese Calligraphy

helped her to relax. ‘Time passes slowly when you are drawing.’ She explained, ‘Japanese

Calligraphy makes time slow down, especially when you’ve had a week so busy you couldn’t

even look at the clock to see if time was still running.’

When she started, there were few people in her class. These days, Japanese Calligraphy

classes are available in most prefectures and in the highly populated towns there are

sometimes waiting lists to join. The clientele have also changed. In the 1980’s, any

calligraphy class would likely be made up of long-retired men, or their housewives using the

class to reminisce and spend time out of the house. Recently, younger housewives, workers

and even their children come to these classes; to learn about the culture and history, to create

their own art and to take a break from the modern world.

At hotels and Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Guesthouses) Shodo is sometimes offered to

guests to have a taster session with a professional. Watching the experts is almost as

enjoyable as trying it for yourself. Japanese Calligraphy is a time for contemplation, prayer

and quiet focus, as you let go of the world around you and speak with a paintbrush instead.

Japanese Calligraphy is famous and revered around the world, and now it seems Japanese

people are starting to fall in love with it again.


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