Shodo: The Quiet Art of Japanese Zen Calligraphy


In this beautiful and extraordinary book, Shozo Sato, an internationally recognized master of traditional Zen arts, teaches the Japanese art of calligraphy through the power and wisdom of Zen poetry.

Single-line Zen Buddhist koan aphorisms or zengo are one of the most common subjects for the traditional Japanese brush calligraphy known as shodo. Regarded as one of the key disciplines in fostering the focused, meditative state of mind so essential to Zen, shodo is practiced regularly by all students of Zen Buddhism in Japan. After providing a brief history of Japanese calligraphy and its close relationship with the teachings of Zen Buddhism, Sato explicates the basic supplies and fundamental brushstroke skills that you’ll need. He goes on to present thirty zengo, each with:An example by a skilled Zen monk or master calligrapherAn explanation of the individual characters and the Zen koan as a wholeStep-by-step instructions on how to paint the phrase in a number of styles (Kaisho, Gyosho, Sosho)

A stunning volume on the intersection of Japanese aesthetics and Zen Buddhist thought, Shodo guides beginning and advanced students alike to a deeper understanding of this unique brush painting art form.