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Terakoya school (寺子屋, てらこや)

Terakoya was a famous school in Japan, during the Edo period (江戸時代, えどじだい, 1603 - 1868). Until end of the 16th century both trends, wayō shodō (和様書道, わようしょどう, i.e. Japanese style calligraphy) and karayō shodō (唐様書道, からようしょどう, i.e. lit. “Tang (dynasty) style calligraphy”), coexisted quite harmoniously, which lasted until the early 17th century when Japan entered an extended period of cultural isolation. During those years a new style based on wayō shodō was created, known as o-ie ryū (御家流, おいえりゅう, lit. “noble family style”). It was also called the “samurai family style”, and was pursued in Terakoya school, offering education to children born to middle class families. Reading and writing were the main, although not only, subjects taught. Students learned by imitating teachers’ writing, presented to them on tehon (手本, てほん, i.e. “an example written by a calligraphy teacher for his disciples to copy”). This is a method still followed in Japan today in regards to novices in calligraphy. Please click here to read more about the history of Japanese calligraphy.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 05:53 AM