Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin


Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin

The Japanese language originally did not own writing, but because of the proximity to the Chinese mainland, Japan suffered a ” cultural invasion “, which occurred in two phases, one occurred in the third century through Confucianism (a wise Korean introduced Chinese culture through this religion), and the other in the sixth century, this time because of Buddhism; the Japanese used Chinese spelling to write their language and literature. This began to occur around the fourth and fifth centuries of our era. The first writings that Japan took from China were the characters of Buddhism.

 Once the Kanji (ideograms) were introduced, the SHO DO (Japanese calligraphy) had an accelerated diffusion during the 70 years that the Nara period lasted, parallel to the consolidation of Buddhism.

Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin
Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin

Kanji

Although at first, it was appropriate to use the Chinese kanji (ideograms). We do not forget to respond to concepts or ideas, they pronounce differently. So that many difficulties took birth, to find ourselves before an ideogram (kanji) that had the same meaning in China as in Japan but got pronounce differently. 

Because of this about a thousand years ago in the Heian Era (9th century), the Japanese developed two forms of syllabic scriptures from Chinese letters in the form of Japanese calligraphy (that is, “that does not fit the idea, but the pronunciation”), the so-called hiragana, and the so-called kana, better known as Kanas. 

Therefore from the Heian Era, the Japanese have used three types of letters or forms of writing in their language: Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana which are the main parts of Japanese calligraphy. Already in the tenth century, these writings had spread throughout Japan popularizing its use by the upper class; it was the women who mostly adopted the Kana (Hiragana and Katakana), finding here greater ease and freedom to express their feelings.

Japanese Calligraphy: Hiragana (ひ ら が な)

 
It derives from a simplification of the cursive style. In the eighth century, a poet of Nara, called Kibi no Mabi used the first kana, in the spread of the hiragana a lot of poems (women) of the Heian era were very important. 

It took birth by the deformation of Chinese letters. It allows for writing the entire language. Although it is normal to use it for the declination of verbs and adjectives, particles. It is the first step to learn writing, and have simple and curved strokes. It gives a soft appearance, comes from the word ” hira ” which means ” flat .”

Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin
Japanese Calligraphy And Its Origin

Katakana  (カ タ カ ナ)

It was formed using parts of Chinese letters,(” kata ” means ” apart “). Its most common use is to write words or names that come from abroad. It finds its use for onomatopoeias or to highlight certain parts of the text. They could be assimilated to the capital letters of Spanish. Katakana differs from Hiragana by having more straight and abrupt strokes. Unlike the hiragana that comes from the “sokode” style. It is the feminine style of “man’yogana”. The katakana comes from a more masculine style called “onokode” in Japanese calligraphy.

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