A geisha is a woman highly trained in the arts of music, dance and entertaining, spending years to perfect the various art forms she is required to master. One of those art forms she was required to master was shodo.
Shodo is a form of calligraphy using a brush dipped in ink. It’s a beautiful art form as well as a means of communication. The ability to do shodo is a skill which requires a tremendous amount of training to master.
In shodo, the emphasis is on the beauty and balance of the writing. Flowing brush strokes are important, just as they are in painting. True Japanese calligraphy is done with a bamboo brush and sumi ink. Sumi ink is made from the soot of pine trees or other vegetable sources. Materials are mixed together to produce a substance with a velvet texture and deep color. Traditionally, the substance is then dried and made into thin sticks. When an artist wants to use the ink, they rub it against a stone that has a smooth, flat surface. The process creates a fine powder to which they add water and mix well. The resulting ink is a deep jet black.
Free with museum admission. During the demonstration, you can receive a short phrase or your name in Japanese for you to take home with you for a donation of $5