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Overview

Japanese calligraphy is formative utilizing characters and letters, which originated in China then subsequently introduced into Japan. The Japanese languages incorporates "Kanji", Chinese ideograms, and "hiragana" and "katakana", both unique to Japan.

Kanji

Each Kanji has its own meaning. For example,

[tree]
[grove/woods]
[forest]

As "" represent "tree," one can imagine the number of trees gradually increasing.

There are several thousand Kanji, but most Japanese books can be read by only knowing the 1945 Joyo Kanji designated by the government.

Japanese students learn 1006 kanji throughout the 6 years of elementary school.

There are three methods of writing Kanji: "Kaisho," "Gyosho," and "Sosho."

Kaisho is the basic form. Both Gyoshi and Sosho are simplified version of Kaisho. Observe the change in style of the Kanji below. The character means "heavan" or "universe."

Hiragana

Hiragana first appeared in the Heian period (794-1184 CE), and is a much more simplified version than Sosho. See above.

Hiragana was almost exclusively used by the women in the courts of the Heian period, while men only used Kanji.

basic hiragana yo-on (contracted sound)
a i u e o (ya) (yu) (yo)
ka ki ku ke ko きゃ kya きゅ kyu きょ kyo
sa shi su se so しゃ sha しゅ shu しょ sho
ta chi tsu te to ちゃ cha ちゅ chu ちょ cho
na ni nu ne no にゃ nya にゅ nyu にょ nyo
ha hi fu he ho ひゃ hya ひゅ hyu ひょ hyo
ma mi mu me mo みゃ mya みゅ myu みょ myo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro りゃ rya りゅ ryu りょ ryo
わ wa ゐ wi ゑ we を wo
n
daku-on (voiced sound)
ga gi gu ge go ぎゃ gya ぎゅ gyu ぎょ gyo
za ji zu ze zo じゃ ja じゅ ju じょ jo
da di du de do ぢゃ dya ぢゅ dyu ぢょ dyo
ba bi bu be bo びゃ bya びゅ byu びょ byo
han-daku-on (semi-voiced sound)
pa pi pu pe po ぴゃ pya ぴゅ pyu ぴょ pyo
soku-on (double consonant)

Katakana

Katakana represents a fragment of a Kanji character. For example, this character means "add." In this case, the left portion of the Kanji is used.

Katakana is mainly used to express foreign loan words, such as tobacco, which came to Japan via Portugal.

basic katakana yo-on (contracted sound)
a i u e o (ya) (yu) (yo)
ka ki ku ke ko キャ kya キュ kyu キョ kyo
sa shi su se so シャ sha シュ shu ショ sho
ta chi tsu te to チャ cha チュ chu チョ cho
na ni nu ne no ニャ nya ニュ nyu ニョ nyo
ha hi fu he ho ヒャ hya ヒュ hyu ヒョ hyo
ma mi mu me mo ミャ mya ミュ myu ミョ myo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro リャ rya リュ ryu リョ ryo
ワ wa ヲ wo
n
daku-on (muddy sound)
ga gi gu ge go ギャ gya ギュ gyu ギョ gyo
za ji zu ze zo ジャ ja ジュ ju ジョ jo
da di du de do ヂャ dya ヂュ dyu ヂョ dyo
ba bi bu be bo ビャ bya ビュ byu ビョ byo
han-daku-on (half muddy sound)
pa pi pu pe po ピャ pya ピュ pyu ピョ pyo
soku-on (double consonant)

The development of hiragana and katakana allows the speaker to express emotions or sensations specific to Japanese. Tanka poetry is exemplary of this form of expression.

This poem expresses the intrinsic emotions of the poet.

Gendai - sho

Most people today cannot read classical Japanese calligraphy. Gendai-sho is a modernized form of Japanese calligraphy that can be read and enjoyed by everyone.

I'm happy with the way I am.Just the way as you are.

It has a visually enjoyable pictorial element that is pleasing to the eye.

Enjoy Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) as both traditional and modern art!

SAKURA
[reference] Joyo jikai(2003) by Shizuka Shirakawa

YOU SHO japanese kanji

Introduction
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Kanji overview
Japanese calligraphy is formative utilizing characters and letters, which originated in China then subsequently introduced into Japan. The Japanese languages incorporates "Kanji", Chinese ideograms, and "hiragana" and "katakana", both unique to Japan.
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