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Shodo: Japanese Calligraphy in Daily Life

Year: 1980, 29 mins
Code: CAT-Shod

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Filmed exploration of the importance of calligraphy in Japanese culture, with a survey of the varieties of writing styles, the place of writing as art in everyday life, examples of calligraphy filmed in kabuki theater, a popular restaurant, the shops that sell the inks and papers used in fine writing, monks executing sutras in the old temple of Nara, etc. Writing styles of movie marquis, religious writing, etc.
Includes demonstrations by celebrated calligraphers, the teaching of ideograms in grade school, an all-Japan calligraphy contest, writing on designer dresses and on ceramics, odd techniques, ancient styles, the relationship of poetry to the medium that expresses it. With an explanation of how - unlike in the linearity of western writing - an ideogram can combine different meanings and references to present a reader with one new concept in one picture.

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