Hideaki NaganoMaster of the Fude

From Tokyo prefecture
A professor of Tokyo Gakugei University

Culture of Japanese Fude

Japanese Fude are often compared with “Touhitsu”, Fude made in China. When compared with Chinese Fude, the traditional method of making Japanese Fude (particularly the process of mixing hair) concentrates on making a Fude that is easy to use by using most appropriate materials. The process of Fude making has been studied and researched, and there exist a variety of Fude for different ways of expression; for example using the hair of weasel or soft hair of sheep can have different effects. Japanese Fude have some great qualities, including their resilience, and I think Japan has traditionally been a country with advanced skills in Fude making.

Joy of calligraphy

While I am learning the work of Kukai called “Fushinjo”, sometimes I can actually sense the air of Kukai and understand the way how he used his Fude. It takes a certain amount of studying to have this kind of experience. In the world of music, we are no longer able to hear Beethoven play music even though his music scores still exist. The experience I had was as if I was listening to the recorded music of Kukai. I very much enjoy having this kind of experience during the process of learning.
I also enjoy trying on newly acquired techniques and different ways of expression by changing calligraphic style, shade of sumi ink, and kind of paper to use. It is very similar to the process of an actress preparing herself for a role. She could be a 20 year old lady or an old woman depending on the situation. In the same way, I like to try on different styles of expressions in a given situation. I like adding this fascinating aspect of calligraphy to my study of classical works.

For me, that is the joy of calligraphy