Experience the Black and White World of Calligraphy

Try your hand at Japanese calligraphy
at Maruju Bussan!

Maruju Bussan specializes in Nara’s traditional crafts. One of our specialties is the tools used for Japanese calligraphy, as Nara is a home of calligraphic ink production. Why don’t you try Japanese calligraphy using the traditional brush and ink? It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Japanese words and characters. Feel free to write whatever you wish from Nara!

●1,000 yen (10 US$ or 10 Euro accepted), includes 5 pieces of calligraphy paper
●The experience lasts about 20 minutes.

About Japanese Calligraphy

Japanese calligraphy is one of the practices that reflect the spirit of Japan, as it is not only a writing system but also an art form that reflects the deep essence of Japanese culture.
Before starting to write, the ink must be prepared. The ink for Japanese calligraphy is not the liquid kind but in the form of a solid stick. The calligrapher puts a few drops of water on a special ink stone and grinds the ink stick in a circular motion to produce liquid ink. Part of the process of creating Japanese calligraphy is the mental concentration that occurs during the ink-making process during which time the calligrapher sits up straight and focuses their mind on what they are about to write.
When the mind is at its peak state of concentration, the character is written on a piece of paper in an instant, without hesitation. The calligrapher strives to be completely in the moment, comparable to a spiritual state of nothingness. How beautiful the character is not so important. What is more respected is how the calligrapher feels upon viewing the completed work.
By experiencing this spiritual method of calligraphy you might gain a glimpse of the spirit of Japanese people. Japanese calligraphy has become popular internationally and many interested people from overseas come to buy the necessary tools at our shop.
The brush is so soft that your hands and fingers never tire, even when writing for many hours. The ink is essentially black but it turns to a faint blue, purple or brown hue when thinned with water. Colored ink is also available for people to use for drawing as well.

Maruju Bussan

486-5 Wakakusayama Sanroku-cho, Nara Park, Nara
Tel: 0742-22-6337
Open: April-Oct.: 9:30-16:30, Nov.-Mar.: 9:30-16:00
Lines of business/Traditional Japanese crafts: Akahada-yaki ceramics, tea ceremony utensils (chasen bamboo tea whisk, chashaku bamboo tea powder scoop, chasaji wooden spoon, etc.), Japanese folding fans, tombo-dama glass beads, Itto-bori carvings
Japanese calligraphy goods: ink sticks, brushes, ink stones, washi paper, etc..