■ What is Japanese Calligraphy ?
Japanese calligraphy is written on washi, a type of Japanese paper, using a brush soaked with black ink. The ink is made from soot which is tempered to avoid corrosion and degradation. It was the most common form of information technology that was used until the early 20th century among the countries that used Chinese characters such as Japan, China, etc.
With the appearance of the pen, calligraphy has been relegated to an art form rather than for practical use.
■ Only 30-40% of written Japanese is “Kanji, Chinese characters”
Written Japanese uses a mix of three types of characters “Kanji”, “Hiragana” and “Katakana”.
(“Hiragana” and “Katakana” are two kinds of alphabet letters which are simplified Chinese characters but invented in Japan. Most Chinese characters used in Japan were imported from China but some were developed in Japan and exported back to China)
Most foreigners have the impression that “Japanese written language equals “Kanji”, Chinese Characters”. However, the ratio of Chinese characters in Japanese text is about 30% and almost all the rest are “Hiragana”.