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Karayō shodō (唐様書道, からようしょどう, lit. “Tang (dynasty) style calligraphy”)

One of two major trends in Japanese calligraphy. The other one is called wayō shodō (和様書道, わようしょどう). Karayō drew heavily from Chinese tradition whereas wayou was more delicate yet simple, and indigenous to Japan. During the Asuka (飛鳥時代, あすかじだい, 550 - 710 C.E.) and Nara (奈良時代, ならじだい, 710 - 784 C.E.) periods, copying Buddhist sutras (so called 写経, しゃきょう, shakyō) was already a very popular practice (note that Chinese characters were introduced to Japan in the 5th century, C.E.), which greatly contributed to strengthening appreciation and fascination for Chinese culture. At that time Japanese calligraphy was especially influenced by writing styles developed during the Jin (晉朝, 265 - 420 C.E.) and Tang (唐朝, 618 – 917 C.E.) Chinese dynasties. This is why this general trend was called karayō (唐様, lit. “Tang style”). Bokuseki (墨蹟, ぼくせき, i.e. “traces of ink”), or in other words Zen calligraphy, is an example of Japanese karayō style.

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Page last modified on October 27, 2011, at 07:25 PM