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Tetchū (鉄柱, てっちゅう, i.e. “iron pole”)

One of the eight basic strokes of kaisho (楷書, かいしょ, standard script), that is defined by the theory of calligraphy known as “The Eight Principles of The Character ”永” (えい, i.e. “eternity”); in Japanese: 永字八法 (えいじはっぽう, eiji happō). Tetchū means “iron pole” in Japanese, and it is a reference to the solid appearance of the vertical stroke. Its more common name is “do” (努, ど), which means “to exert”, although the lower part of this character (力, ちから, chikara, i.e. “power”) was once written as “a bow” (弓, ゆみ, yumi). From this came an image of a stone-bolt crossbow, ready to fire 石弓 (いしゆみ, i.e. “ishi yumi”). The stroke ends with an immediate halt, imitating the crossbow mechanism lock. The left-hand-side of the vertical stroke in the character 永 ought to be gently curved inwards, while the right hand side stays straight. The skillful manipulation of the brush pressure against the paper is the key here. Please click here to read more about standard script.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 05:06 AM