Japanese Calligraphy

The pictographic nature of Japanese writing - particularly the kanji script of Chinese-based characters - lends great artistic scope to Japan's flowing, brush-written calligraphy. Though often ornate to the point of illegibility, shodo is suggestive of natural phenomena even to the untrained eye. With links to Buddhism and tea ceremony, seasonal calligraphic scrolls are paired with ikebana arrangements and hung in the tokonoma alcove of traditional houses and Japanese inns, or ryokan. Hanging scrolls always grace the walls of tea houses, and play an important role in the tea ceremony.