Shodò lab: contamporary japanese calligraphy workshop

Saturday, October 05, 2019, 10:00 ÷ 13:00
Paraventi Giapponesi - Galleria Nobili
Via Marsala, 4
20121 Milano (MI)

Shodō 書道 lab
held by Ideshita Hiro

Japanese writing

Writing arrived in Japan from China in the 6th century. A.D.
Initially it retained the characteristics of the original language. There has been several attempts at adaptation of the two linguistic systems including the manyo-gana 万 葉 仮 名 and the hentai-gana 変 体 仮 名, simplifying the graphics of the original Chinese ideograms. These different phases led, over the centuries, to the birth of the modern phonetic hiragana and katakana alphabets.

The kana style 仮 名, or italics, was practiced by women of the court during the Heian dynasty (794 - 1185). Traditionally the use of calligraphy was not allowed except for the male sex.

Shodo: traditional japanese calligraphy


In kana calligraphy there are two styles, chowatai 調和体 and chirashigaki 散らし書き.

Chowatai dates back to 6th century A.D. It is a type of writing that mixes ideograms with hentai-gana. Lines are equally spaced. Practiced mainly at the court, its main goal is elegance.

Chirashigaki dates back to 10th century. A.D.
chirashi means 'writing style' and gaki means 'to write'. As well as chowatai, it is mixed with ideograms and it is often performed on fine small colored or decorated paper such as shikishi or kaishi.

The calligrapher spreads kana wisely, linking them together with thin and sinuous lines, called renmensen, in a play between writing and the empty space that creates deep resonances according to the aesthetic principle of ma 間, emptiness.
Here we find the difference with Chinese calligraphy: the characters have different dimensions. All shades of ink are used, from deep black, wet and dry, to the range of grays; all the signs combine to create a design on the page, suggesting movement or stillness, strength or lightness, rhythm or calm.

Shodo: calligraphy work by Hiro Ideshita

Shodō lab


  • Max 10 students
  • Cost € 75
  • All materials kindly provided by the artist
  • The manufactured piece remains the property of the student
  • For subscriptions please write to:

Cancellation and non-attendance

If the cancellation occurs:
  • 10 or more days before the course: we will refund 85% of the amount
  • 7,8,9 days before: 50% refund
  • less than 7 days or non-attendance: no refund

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