Professor Jeremy Schwartz
Japanese Media 3111
15 Sept. 2015
Japanese Media Project 1: Traditional Media
Do you ever wonder how Japan ever developed its writing system? The name of the traditional Japanese writing system is Calligraphy. Japanese Calligraphy is an ancient artistic writing system developed from the Chinese Calligraphy. Even today, the residents of Japan still use Calligraphy art style. However, during periods of time, the there have been different styles to write calligraphy. For instance:
What examples are you drawing from?
For drawing, I’m going to use the first style for Japanese Calligraphy, “Kaisho; the first style.” Kaisho is considered the first artistic writing style because it is the basics or first step to advancing to any other art styles. For example, according to Karate by Jesse, “this script is the most basic style” but is also “required to get a proper ‘feeling’ before advancing to the other styles.” In addition, the first character “kai” refers to correctness. For instance, “ each of the strokes in each character written in Kaisho is drawn and placed, correctly.” This indicates that each symbol written in Kaisho style was written in its proper position to look correct. Also, kaisho is referred to a different name for Calligraphy. The other name for Kaisho is the “Standard script style.” I will also use Gyosho style and Sosho style as examples. The reason why I will be using the other three styles is because to show the differences between all three of them. For instance, Kaisho style, Gyosho style and Sosho style are unique in their own way. The pictures below can provide an example.
“Moonlight” Kaisho style:
“Moonlight” Gyosho style:
“Moonlight” Sosho style:
Are they all from the same period?
The kaisho and sosho writing style were both from the same period during the start of the Three Kingdoms. For instance, according to Beyond Calligraphy, “Calligraphy became a major form of art in China during the starting “years of The Three Kingdoms period (220-280 C.E.).” From that, Cursives script style (Sousho) was born along with “Clerical script style (Reisho). After these two script styles were made, a new one named, “Standard script style (Kaisho)” was made.
The Walking/Running style (also known as “Gyosho style”) was created later in the late Han dynasty. For example, a “calligrapher/scholar named Liu Desheng (146-189)” of the “late Han dynasty (29 B.C. – 219 C.E.)” developed the Gyosho style from the reisho style.” The gyosho style was later “perfected in the Jin dynasty (265-420)” by “Wang Xizhi (303-361), the great father son of the Wang Family.”
If so, what is unique about this form in this time?
-For Kaisho style, it is basically the starting point to advance to other styles. By looking at the picture below, it can be said that it is clear and easy to read. The reason why that is possible is because Kaisho is supposed to give a person a sense of balance and correct placement. This would include left to right, white to black or up to down etc.
-For Sosho style, it is considered the cursive script compared to the other styles. By looking at the picture, it can be said the flow is different and sometimes the stroke can be transparent from a faded to a dark stroke. In addition, compared to Kaisho and Gyosho, Sosho looks less complex making it look like and version of Japanese language. Basically, it has an abstract and simple appearance. This is because the strokes are supposed to show the feelings for the character.
If not, what has changed between the different periods or schools within this form?
Compared to kaisho style, and sosho style, gyosho style was created later in the late Han dynasty and perfected in the Jin dynasty. For Gyosho, it can be semi relaxing when it comes to the strokes. For instance, by looking at the pictures above, it shows the strokes are allowed to run into each other while the characters look more fluid and rounder. This because gyosho style requires the “brush to leave the paper less than the kaisho style does.” In other words, the mind is already thinking of where to place the next stroke making gyosho have a distinguishing look upon itself.
-How was this originally accomplished?
The kaisho writing style was originally accomplished during end of the Han dynasty. For instance, Beyond Calligraphy had stated that during “the end of the Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 C.E.), kaisho was created by a minister of the Cao Wei dynasty (220 -265).” The minister of the Cao Wei dynasty was named “Zhong Yao (151-230).”
What techniques were used traditionally?