Language & Culture
Shodo means the “way of calligraphy,” and it's one of the most respected Asian fine arts. Painted with brush and ink, Japanese calligraphy uses centuries old kanji (“Chinese characters”), which due to their pictographic nature have similarities to abstract expressionism. Balance, grace, dignity, vibrant movement, and the beauty of line combine to create a dynamic ink painting of the mind admired by people worldwide.
Wanto Shodo Kai presents classes in integrated shodo and meditation. Likened to “Zen with a brush,” it combines instruction in Shin-shin-toitsu-do forms of meditation and mind and body unification principles with lessons in Japanese calligraphy. Along with meditation and art, students learn exercises for enhancing ki, human “life energy” (chi in Chinese). Strengthening ki benefits health, and ki is the enigmatic and dynamic force behind powerful calligraphy and painting. Authentic shodo is rarely taught in the West, and finding a program combining shodo with lessons in meditation and unification of mind and body is even more rare.
Wanto Shodo Kai offers you an opportunity to study genuine Japanese shodo—an art rarely taught in English—for artistic expression and moving meditation. Students study kanji as well as hiragana and katakana—phonetic scripts—along with classical ink painting. You’ll also learn to brush age-old haiku and waka poems, sometimes with accompanying ink and water painted illustrations (sumi-e). Sumi-e is a bit similar to Western watercolor painting, and shodo is a fun way to study Japanese language, while you learn about Japanese culture.