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Calligraphy script (書体, しょたい, shotai)

We can distinguish five core calligraphy scripts (which are also at times referred to as styles). These are: seal script (篆書, てんしょ, tensho, further divided into great and small seal scripts), clerical script (隷書, れいしょ, reisho), cursive script (草書, そうしょ, sōsho), standard script (楷書, かいしょ, kaisho) and semi-cursive script (行書, ぎょうしょ, gyōsho). All five were developed and matured in China. Japan has greatly contributed to the art of calligraphy by creating kana (かな) script.

Flying white (飛白, かすり, kasuri), bokuseki (墨蹟, ぼくせき, lit. “traces of ink”, i.e. Zen calligraphy) and avant-garde calligraphy (前衛書道, せんえい しょどう, zenei shodō; also known as bokushō (墨象, ぼくしょう), i.e. “image of ink”) are styles rather than scripts. It is important to emphasize that all scripts can be classified as styles, however not all styles become scripts. Script is more of a technical expression for a way of writing characters that lasted for extended period of time and was used as part of the living language. Please click here to read more about calligraphy scripts.

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Page last modified on December 27, 2011, at 10:43 AM