2005
05.19

書道 (しょどう) and 習字 (しゅうじ) are both calligraphy, right? I thought they were in essence the same thing but my calligraphy teacher points out that they are different. Consulting my dictionary I find ‘calligraphy’ and ‘penmanship’ for these terms respectively.

According to my teacher 習字 is more about learning to write characters – as can be seen from the kanji which make the word while 書道 is more of an art form. A flowing artistic piece is therefore 書道 and not 習字. It’s not something I’d really thought about before.



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  1. This is the first time that I’ve seen shuuji (forgive my lack of kanji and hiragana, my comp at work can’t type in Japanese) used for “Calligraphy.” But, as you mention, it does look like it’s geared more towards the learning of characters than an aesthetic practice. “The way of writing,” as it were.
    Hey, I just found this site. It’s nice. Keep it up!

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