Professor Jeremy Schwartz
Japanese Media 3111
25 Sept. 2015
Traditional Media Project: Production Response
The project that I did was the first 5-hiragana groups in kaisho style calligraphy. For the materials, I used a Japanese brush with a fine tip on Japanese rice paper. From my research, I tried applying those elements into my calligraphy. One element is the change in strokes that the Japanese use for their calligraphy. For example, in standard calligraphy, the stokes from the brush start from the right going to the left. In addition, the stroke can change in size as well. The stroke can start small, but become bigger and end in a dry tip. It shows that there is a change in the pressure of the brush that can be a full stroke to a light tip stroke. One more element was the way the Japanese write their calligraphy. The Japanese write their calligraphy from the left corner going down to the right side of the paper. I applied that element into my project when I was doing the hiragana characters.
Besides the elements applied, there were also some difficulties that came with the project. One difficulty was the rice paper. In my opinion, compared to U.S. computer printing paper, Japanese rice paper is extremely fragile. The printing the paper is sturdier than rice paper. Another difficulty was the ink on the rice. In other words, applying the ink on the paper without trying to smudge the brush. One more difficulty is trying to change the strokes of the brush. For instance, when I was in the process of doing this calligraphy, I tried changing the brush strokes when adding more pressure to brush. The difficulty of this process was applying the right pressure to the brush.
When I was in the process of making this work, I wanted the groups to be organized and be separated in their groups. I separated the characters in 5×5 rows with each character as “A, I, U, E, and O.” For the calligraphy that has a gap in-between the row is to show that the Japanese didn’t create certain characters. For traditional methods, a Japanese brush and rice paper can be used traditionally. The materials can be used traditionally for writing poems to a person’s name. For example, the calligraphy can be Kaisho, Sosho or Gyosho; each one of these styles has their own ways of being unique that can be used for different means of tradition.
Over the course of this project, I had to improvise a few times on the project. One improvise I did was the size of the characters. I had the characters bigger in order for them to look more like Kaisho style. Even though there other calligraphy that have small font, I was concentrating on making the calligraphy bigger to fill in the majority of the rice paper. Another improvise was the last 2 groups of hiragana characters. The first 3 groups of hiragana have a set of 10 characters while the last 2 only have 8. The reason for this is because the Japanese didn’t create those characters. The result of this was that I had to leave gaps in the groups. I intentionally did this to give the reader the idea that this hiragana doesn’t have this type of character.
This project in the end was an interesting one. Even though this project was frustrating, it kind of gave me an idea of what the Japanese must go through to do their work. In the near future, I do want to make more projects like this and expand my interest into other traditional medias’.