RyuShinkan/Kenshukai Shodo Class Information Page
Our brush calligraphy classes provide the student with instruction on how to perform the required brush strokes used in the reproduction of the Chinese Characters (“Kanji”). That instruction will consist of (either) instruction or review of the required “strokes” (brush motions) and their use within the various “Kanji”. The provided instruction will include learning the proper brush strokes utilized within the Hiragana and Katakana as well. These (2) phonetic groups are utilized by the Japanese for writing domestic (Japanese) and foreign words which the kanji may not be known (to the writer). The Katakana are used for writing foreign words/names (to Japan). The Hiragana are used for writing domestic (Japanese) kanji that the user may not know or be familiar with, and/or for writing “particles” (words used to form/identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) in the Japanese language.
Though commonly presented as being a “spiritual” pursuit, Shodo is an “artistic” practice as well (and is the manner it is taught in our classes). Regardless of an individual's “reason's” for its pursuit, the manner which it is performed remains the same. Each stroke is performed in a particular manner and in a particular order. Our classes will guide the student with how to perform the necessary strokes, and familiarize them with the use and care of the various tools utilized in its practice.
There is no “need” for the student to be proficient (or able in any way) in “reading” the characters. In addition to those provided in class, there are numerous examples (both on the web, and provided for the student's practice) that can be used by the student for the practice of the instructed strokes. The student is instructed in the use of the Nelson's Japanese to English Kanji Dictionary. This dictionary is considered (by many) to be the “standard” for translation of the Japanese kanji. Though not containing “every” kanji being used within the Japanese/Okinawan language(s), it does contain the majority (if not the “modern” form of those kanji that have dropped from common usage).
Many of our students have been individuals seeking to learn how to brush “names” (of students) for use upon certificates, scrolls, poster's etc.(in “Katakana”). That instruction can be done separately, and/or is included within the (general) “Shodo” course instruction. We also offer guidance in “Name Seal” (character) determination. This is useful for persons wishing to create their own (or a schools) personal seal/hanko (判子) or seal impression (for use on a seal stone, inkan (印鑑).
Though taught at our martial art's school, a number of the brush calligraphy student's do not participate in that aspect (at all). The brush calligraphy classes are separate from that instruction (although it is included within the instruction provided to those “martial art” students).
We additionally have Shodo student's who are student's and/or instructor's (at their own schools) that come to us to (only) learn the brush calligraphy. Those students often seek to learn brush calligraphy for their own use (in the creation of certificates, banners, seals, etc.).
Regardless of one's reason's, we can provide that instruction. All materials and tools are provided for “in class” use. Student's are required to purchase their own fude (brushes), suzuri (ink stone) , sumi (ink) and washi (paper) (for “home” use and practice). Those materials can be purchased through the instructor or through suggested locations (the instructor can assist with suggesting locations/prices when shopping).